Patent protection is the legal protection given to the owner of a patent over their intellectual property. This protection also includes the methods of action they can pursue against anyone who imposes on their patent. However, it is essential to note that patent protection will differ depending on the country the inventor is in, the country’s laws regarding how long a patent is valid, and the various ways someone might initiate action against people or companies who violate their patent. For example, U.S. patent protection typically lasts for 20 years after a patent is approved. Even more, the owner of the patent can file a civil suit against anyone who violates their patent.
Like a trademark or copyright, a patent is a type of ownership an inventor can obtain for a device or object they create. In other words, a patent serves as a type of intellectual property ownership. However, patent protection has proven to be more challenging to obtain and enforce than others. While copyrights are established the instant an original work of art is created, patents must be filed officially through its government. Because patent laws, policies, and procedures differ throughout the world, an inventor must obtain patents and patent protection for their idea in each country.
Typically, patent protection includes spelling out the terms and length of a patent’s validity and how it will be enforced. As stated above, a U.S. patent is valid for 20 years following the date of approval. So, if a person wants to patent a product in other countries, they must research that specific country’s policies.
In the U.S., a person who invents a product and receives a valid patent can pursue civil litigation against anyone who infringes on their patent. However, it is important to note that the government will not pursue any patent litigation on the inventor’s behalf.
It is entirely the inventor/patent owner’s responsibility to protect their patent. Because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides patent protection to patent holders, the government can get involved in infringement cases. Suppose a person pursues legal action against another person they believe to be infringing on their patent. In that case, the Patent Office agents will then examine the patent’s relevancy and determine whether the person has infringed on it. Once a court rules that there has been an infringement upon the patent, the patent owner may receive financial compensation and, in some cases, ongoing licensing fees.
Stanzione & Associates, PLLC is an intellectual property law firm with over 30 years of experience protecting corporate entities, start-ups, and individual inventors. Stanzione & Associates, PLLC stands above other Intellectual Property law firms because of Mr. Stanzione’s extensive experience working at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as a supervisory level patent examiner. At Stanzione & Associates, PLLC, we have the insight and long-term relationships with the USPTO to work well with patent examiners to achieve quality patents.