A patent is the most important form of Intellectual Property. The government granted a set of absolute rights to an inventor or its assignee for a limited period, in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. In simple words, “Patent Infringement” means encroachment upon the patent rights of the patent holder or patentee, where the patent is valid and enforceable by law in a specific jurisdiction. In India, the Patent Act of 1970 governs all the matters related to Patents and this act was amended in 1999, 2002, and 2005 to comply with the WIPO and TRIP guidelines on Patents. Since the 2005 amendments, there are many suit files on the infringement of patent rights and therefore patent jurisprudence has been cognate over the years with several judgments on that cases related to the infringement of patent rights by the High court and Supreme Court.
Types of Patent Infringement
There are many types of patent infringement which are given following:
1. Direct Infringement: Making, selling, or importing something without getting a license from the patent holder that is called a direct infringement of patent rights. This act must complete willfully by the offender.
2. Indirect Infringement: Indirect infringement which includes contributory infringement and inducement to infringe a patent. Under these terms, even if a company does not the one that initially infringed on the patent, that company can still be held accountable for patent infringement.
3. Contributory Infringement: This kind of infringement includes purchasing or importing a part that helps create a patented item. To prove contributory infringement, one must show that the main use of the component would be to create a patented item. The comprehensive good that has other uses usually doesn’t qualify in proving contributory infringement.
4. Induced Infringement: When a person or company aids in patent infringement by providing components or helping to make a patented product then occur induced infringement. It occurs by offering instructions, preparing instructions, or licensing processes.
5. Willful Infringement: Willful infringement exists when a person determines complete disregard for a patent that is someone else’s patent. It is especially damaging to defendants in a civil suit. If they are found guilty then the penalties are much higher, typically defendant must pay all pleader costs and court costs.
6. Literal Infringement: To prove literal infringement, there must be a direct correspondence between the infringing device or process and the patented device or process.
7. The doctrine of Equivalents: Even if the method doesn’t exactly infringe a patent then a judge might find in favor of the patent holder. If the device or method does the same thing and produces the same results then it could be an infringement. There are five ways to justify a case of patent infringement:
Burden of Proof
In the form of a product, where there is a purported infringement of a patented invention, the burden of establishing that an infringement has appeared lies on the patentee. In the patent process, the burden of proof may be shifted to the infringer provided that the patentee is capable to prove to the court that by the reasonable struggle he or she has not been capable to regulate the process that has been used by the defendant.
There are some remedies provided under the patent law for the infringement of a patent which is as follows:
1. Administrative Remedy: If and when infringing products are imported into the territory of India then the owner of the Intellectual Property can approach the collector of custom and prohibit the entry of these goods into the market in India. The owner of the Intellectual Property must provide the name of the exporter, consignee, and the name of the ship to avail him or herself of this remedy.
2. Civil Remedy: Under Section 108(1) of the Patents Act, in case of his patent rights have been infringed then provides the remedies to the plaintiff. In any suit for infringement then the court may grant reliefs like; injunction and at the option of the plaintiff, either damages or an account of profits. There are three types which are as follows:
3. Injunction: It is a preventive civil remedy. It is of two types:
It concluded that since the 2005 amendments, there are many suit files on the infringement of patent rights and therefore patent jurisprudence has been cognate over the years with several judgments on that case related to the infringement of patent rights by the High court and Supreme Court. In the patent process, the burden of proof may be shifted to the infringer provided that the patentee is capable to prove to the court that by the reasonable struggle he or she has not been capable to regulate the process that has been used by the defendant.