Do you know if you have the right to market your products?
You have a duty to investigate whether others have a patent on your idea
Are you at risk of infringing the patent or design rights of others?
What do you do if others have patented your invention?
Maybe you got a great idea for a product, but it turns out that someone else already has a patent on the idea. What options do you have? There are actually a number of options that can be considered. For instance, it will typically be a good idea to explore the possibilities of “designing around”, i.e. modifying your product so that it does not fall within the protection of the relevant patent. If this does not seem relevant or possible, one can examine the possibilities of having the patent limited or invalidated by filing an opposition with the patent authority or by a lawsuit. This requires that one can make it probable that the patent has not been lawfully issued.
Keep abreast of the situation
Luckily, undesirable surprises can be prevented by taking the right precautions. This can be done by continuously monitoring which patents are issued in the relevant technical field and which patents are taken out by competitors. When starting up major development projects, one can carry out a so-called Freedom-to-Operate analysis (FTO assessment) to determine what scope you have in relation to current patent rights. In connection with new inventions, a novelty screening or a patentability search and/or an infringement search and infringement assessment can be carried out.
Your company should have a well-defined patent strategy that among other things ensures ongoing focus on the rights of others.
How can Guardian help you in relation to the rights of others?
At Guardian, we have the expert knowledge and many years of experience necessary to be able to evaluate your ideas or your products in relation to others’ patent and design rights. We can advise you on opportunities and risks when marketing your specific product, and we can help you possibly change your product so that you are free of the rights of others, i.e. “Designing around”.
In order to keep abreast of the situation in the future, we can help you incorporate an evaluation of the rights of others into a sensible patent strategy. We can establish fixed procedures that ensure timely assessment of competitors’ patents and designs by preparing infringement analyses, Freedom-to-Operate analyses, status studies of patent families, etc. Furthermore, we can provide appropriate patent monitoring that reduces the risk of inadvertently infringing the patents of others. Should you need to challenge the rights of others, we can help by filing an opposition with the patent authority or assisting you in a lawsuit.
We familiarise ourselves with your company’s products, business strategy and market situation, and together we can set criteria for what your IPR strategy should include in relation to monitoring and dealing with the rights of others. We are always happy to help advice on what is the right solution for you and your company.
Please feel free to contact us. Guardian has one of Denmark’s largest and strongest teams of European Patent Attorneys and European Design Attorneys providing expertise in diverse technical fields. Reach out for us for a non-binding conversation.
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