The Basics of Patent Law


Patent law is a body of laws that protects inventors’ rights. It grants the owner the exclusive right to make, use, and sell their invention for a limited period of time. The US Constitution gives Congress the power to secure these rights for inventors.


To be patentable, an invention must be new and useful. It must also be capable of industrial application.


The patentability of an invention is a key consideration in the legal process. It determines whether an inventor can sell their invention and how long they have the right to do so. The patentability of an invention is determined by a nu 이혼전문변호사 mber of factors, including whether it is useful, new and non-obvious. The US patent system has been designed to encourage innovation and new ideas. If an invention is deemed not to meet these criteria, it will be blocked from the marketplace. This is why it’s important to work with an experienced patent lawyer when filing a patent application.

In the past, patents only protected tangible scientific inventions like circuit boards or car engines. But today, patents protect a wide range of inventions, including computer programs and genetically modified organisms. These innovations drive technological progress and make our world more interconnected than ever before.

Patentability is a complex issue that involves the intersection of statutory law and case law. While statutory law establishes the basic requirements for patentability, case law has developed more detailed rules. For example, the US Supreme Court has ruled that data structures, nonfunctional descriptive material like music or books, and electromagnetic signals are not patentable. The courts also have established that a person must be the true inventor of an invention in order to obtain a patent.

Filing a patent application

A patent is a legal right that protects inventors’ inventions from being copied by others. The process of filing a patent application is complex and requires both legal and technical expertise. Even small mistakes can greatly compromise the value of a patent application. It is therefore advisable to seek professional legal assistance when filing a patent application.

The patent process typically takes three to four years. After a patent application has been filed, the USPTO will conduct a search to determine whether there is prior art to the claimed invention. This step can be very time consuming. If the search report is favorable, the patent examiner will begin the formal examination phase of the process. The examiner will review the detailed description of the invention to determine whether it meets the patentability requirements of novelty and nonobviousness.

If a patent is granted, the inventors will be given a limited monopoly to make and sell their inventions. However, if a company makes and sells the invention without a license from the patent owner, it may be guilty of patent infringement. In this case, the patent holder can sue for damages.

Patent examination

The patent examination process determines whether an invention meets the legal requirements of patentability. The examiner conducts research into the state of technology and then compares it to your claimed invention. If the examiner finds that your invention is novel and not obvious in view of the known technology, he or she will issue a Notice of Allowance.

If the examiner does not agree with your arguments, you can appeal the decision to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. However, this process is time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, many inventors decide to abandon their applications.

This study uses detailed panel data to examine the quality of recent patent examination procedures. It finds that patent examination inputs (examiner hours and examiner actions) have remained relatively stable, while other measures of examination quality have declined. This finding suggests that a disproportionate focus on increasing patent application workloads is affecting the quality of examination. Inconsistent patent examination standards may increase the costs of enforcement and deter innovation. In addition, uncertainty about the validity and proper scope of patents imposes additional welfare costs.

Patent infringement

Patent infringement cases involve a wide variety of issues, from claim construction to the patent’s scope. A court’s claim construction ruling is based on a combination of the plain language of each individual claim, its specification and prosecution history, and case law.

The claim construction ruling must be consistent with the patent’s claims, specification and prosecution history in order to establish infringement. In most cases, a plaintiff must show that each element in the patented invention is comparable to an element in the allegedly infringing invention. This is called the doctrine of equivalents.

If a patent is deemed valid, the owner can use it to prohibit others from manufacturing, using or selling it in the country where the patent is in force. However, this is only applicable if the patent is not already being exploited by another person in that country or region.

In patent infringement cases, attorneys typically call expert witnesses to offer testimony about the purported infringement. These experts can testify about the patent’s workings, the amount of damages to be levied and other details pertaining to the infringement.


Once a patent has been approved, its owner gains a limited-time monopoly to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing the invention without permission. However, this right is not absolute; it can be challenged. If infringement is found, the plaintiff can be awarded substantial damages. This includes the cost of the invention, lost profits and the reasonable royalties that would have been paid to the inventor if they had licensed their patent. The court can also award triple damages if the infringer was willful.

It is important for businesses to monitor their patents and take action when a competitor uses their patented invention. However, there are unique situations where patent holders may choose not to take legal action. For example, biotechnology company Moderna possesses several patents on novel coronavirus vaccines, but has decided not to enforce these patents in order to encourage other companies to develop necessary vaccines.

A specialized intellectual property law firm can help patent holders identify potential issues and recommend the best course of action to resolve disputes. They can also provide patent opinions, which are not binding but can help settle legal disputes outside of court.