Patent litigation can lead to damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Inventors are usually considered to own the fruits of their labor, and their patented ideas cannot be used without permission and often compensation to the patent holder. When a patented invention is used without permission, various court procedures are followed to determine whether the defendant is guilty.
Technology is complex, and determining who should have the right to a particular piece of technology is difficult to determine. In the courtroom, the way that subtleties in the technology change how the technology functions must be clearly articulated in order to verify that the technology patent was in fact violated.
The patent holder can file a lawsuit against an individual who was considered in violation of a particular patent. A representative of the patent violator and a representative of the patent holder attend court and present their arguments.
Lawsuits that involve parties from across state lines are in the jurisdiction of the federal government and are subjected to federal courts. International violations of patents are handled through the International Trade Commission.
The accused patent infringer can try to explain which elements of the technology are unique, indicating that the technology is not a patent violation. This can be done by explaining what is novel about the product, which is essentially the uniquely important difference between the new invention and the old invention. There are also debates over who was the first to invent the particular innovation.
Subject Matter Experts
The court relies on subject matter experts in order to explain technical information that is beyond the scope of a layman’s understanding. Written documents including technical specifications of a particular invention are also used.
A claim to a patent is sometimes considered invalid if the patent is over an invention that was considered obvious at the time based on the general understanding of science. The patent can also be invalidated if the patent document contained errors.
After a patent violator is told to pay a high amount for damages, many are able to appeal this court decision.
The damages that are paid for a patent infringement are not assessed until the defendant has been found guilty. If the defendant has been found guilty, the defendant can appeal the decision before the damages are assessed, according to Harvard Law. The amount of money that is paid for damages is often based on what that individual would generally earn through royalties for selling the patented invention rights.