Do you know if you use someone’s intellectual property in your product / service or other business activities without permission, it can create a lot of problems in the future? Yes it’s correct. It doesn’t matter what industry your business belongs to; be it automobile, healthcare, education, information technology, online services or entertainment, you should be familiar with the term IP INFRINGEMENT.
What is an intellectual property infringement?
A patent is an exclusive right granted to the inventor to exclude others from making, using or selling his technologies. Intellectual property infringement refers to the use of patented technologies without permission, and in such a case, the patent holder can take legal action against the infringers. Intellectual property protection is valid for 20 years from the date of issue.
Let’s take an example. Suppose you invented a small toy and you want to make money by selling the units in your country / region. Would you allow your neighbors to make similar or updated versions and sell them on the market? Of course, no. Patenting your idea allows you to use your idea in any way you want and stop IP infringing activities. If you found copycats, you can file an IP infringement case and get royalties.
If you can’t let someone else use your breakthrough idea, why would others allow you to? If you use someone’s intellectual property, you can be sued in court. Therefore, when manufacturing a product / service or planning any business strategy, always make sure that you are not committing any kind of patent infringement.
How do I know if I am infringing someone’s intellectual property rights?
This is a common question, which almost all entrepreneurs have today. Patent infringement does not mean that you intentionally steal someone’s intellectual property rights. Suppose you developed a product / service, which uses the same design, concept, technology area, operating principle, etc. on which someone has a patent (but you have no knowledge about that). If you bring your product / service to market, you will be liable for patent infringement.
Each patent has a claim section, which describes the scope of the invention, the area of intellectual property protection, etc. By studying the claims, you can find out if you are infringing on someone’s intellectual property rights. But, there are a number of patent applications filed every month, how is intellectual property infringement controlled? Get FTO analysis!
FTO is a shortened form of Freedom to Operate and helps determine if you can set up your business operations or launch a product / service in a country / region without infringing on intellectual property. The FTO study provides full details on proprietary technologies (in a specific country / region) similar to your product.
FTO analysis allows you to:
- Learn about the potential for IP infringement for new product launches.
- Determine upcoming competing products / services, technologies, and programs.
- Learn about IP licensing opportunities.
- Develop exclusive business strategies and increase your success rate.
The product development process is not straightforward and requires a lot of time and money. If your product infringes on proprietary technologies, you can be caught in serious cases of intellectual property infringement. So, before launching your product / service, get an FTO analysis from a reputable IP company and avoid future patent infringement.