When people come with inventions, the main cause for worry is the possibility of the invention being copied or grabbed by other malicious people. What does this mean if the invention kidnapper manages to grab the invention? The inventor may not benefit from the rewards of the invention especially if the inventor does not take precaution. Before patents were introduced, there was a high risk of someone freely making use of your invention to make a living and this discouraged many bright minds from coming up with inventions. As a way to motivate and protect the interests of inventors, the patent law was established. Since the establishment of patent laws, there has been a drastic increase in inventions. With patent law, no one can steal your invention or use it for money gains without signing an agreement with you. Before discussing how a patent works and what an inventor needs upon violation of their invention, it is important to know what the term patent means.
A patent refers to a legal manuscript that provides protection to an invention against use, copy or similar manufacture by another person or inventor without the consent of the inventor. A patent protects the invention rights of the inventor. The protection does not last forever, but different inventions have different protection periods. Upon expiry of patent, the invention can no longer be protected. Three main categories of patents exist. There are utility patents, design patents & plant patents.
Utility patents offer protection to machine inventions, process inventions as well as inventions in biological and chemical composition matter. Design patents offer protection to aesthetic innovations and ornamental designs while plant patents protect the rights of new plant discoverers through asexual reproduction. The patent that is most applied as well as granted is the first category-utility patent. This patent lasts for twenty years beginning from the date of application. The remaining two categories of patents are not as common as utility patent. Design patents have a lifespan of 14 years while plant patents have a lifespan of 20 years. Only the inventor can place an application for patent. After exploring the available categories of patents, what if someone violates the inventor’s patent?
This is where the patent law takes its course. If patent is violated, the patent owner has the responsibility to pursue recourse. Even though the procedure can be costly and complicated it is worth taking. The costs involved are the reason why the procedure is common with large corporations and unpopular with individual patent owners. Patent litigation becomes very essential especially when the patent owner suffers serious financial losses as a result of patent infringement. Because of the costs involved in patent litigation, it might be wise for the patent owner to sell the patent or arrange for a licensed agreement between him and the infringing company.
Patent law came into being to protect the rights of inventors as well as encourage continued innovations. Patent is an extremely complex field and hence inventors are advised to seek the help of patent lawyers before placing applications for patent.