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, this is true. No matter the industry your business belongs to; whether it is automobile, healthcare, education, information technology, online services, or entertainment, you need to be familiar with the term IP INFRINGEMENT.
What is IP infringement?
A patent is an exclusive right granted to the inventor to exclude others from making, using, or selling his technologies. IP infringement refers to using patented technologies without permission, and in such case, the patentee can take legal action against the infringers. The IP protection is valid for 20 years from the issue date.
Let’s take an example. Suppose, you invented a small toy, and you want to earn money by selling the units in your country/region. Would you allow your neighbors to manufacture the similar or updated versions, and sell in the market? Of course not. Patenting your idea allows you use your idea the way you want to, and stop IP infringement activities. If you found copycats, you can file IP infringement case, and get royalties.
If you can’t allow someone to use your innovative idea, why would others allow you to do so? If you use someone’s intellectual property, you can be sued in the court. Thus, when manufacturing a product/service or planning any business strategies, always make sure you are not doing any kind of patent infringement.
How do I know If I am infringing someone’s IP rights?
This is a common question, which almost every businessperson has nowadays. Patent infringement doesn’t mean that you intentionally steal someone’s IP rights. Suppose, you developed a product/service, which uses the same design, concept, technology area, working principle, etc. on which someone holds patent (but you don’t have knowledge about that). If you bring your product/service in the market, you will be liable for patent infringement.
Every patent has a claim section, which describes the scope of the invention, area of IP protection, etc. By studying claims, you can know whether you are infringing someone’s IP rights. But, there are a number of patent applications filed every month, how do you check IP infringement? Get FTO Analysis!
FTO is an abbreviated form of Freedom to Operate, and it helps determine if you are free to set up your business operations or launch a product/service in a country/region without doing any IP infringement. FTO study provides complete details about the patented technologies (in a given country/region) similar to that of your product.
FTO analysis allows you to:
- Know chances of IP infringement for new product launches.
- Determine competitors’ upcoming products/services, technologies and programs.
- Know IP licensing opportunities.
- Develop exclusive business strategies, and increase success rate.
The product development process is not simple, and requires a lot of time and money. If your product infringes the patented technologies, you can be caught in serious IP infringement cases. So, before launching your product/service, get FTO analysis done from a reputed IP company, and avoid patent infringement in the future.