Patents are essential to help businesses protect their inventions and products, but can be off-putting and complex, especially to small operations that may not have very much experience protecting their intellectual property. Patent laws are incredibly complex, and the process can be time consuming and financially daunting.
What is a patent? A patent is essentially a limited monopoly afforded to an inventor over the rights to use, sell and market their invention. If a patent is granted, the patent holder obtains the exclusive rights to the patented innovation for a set period of time. Patents evolved as an incentive for inventors to invest their time and resources into new ideas, productions, technology and other discoveries which could be useful to the public and their communities. Once a patent is awarded, immediate disclosure of the patented information to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is required by law. Patents are only protected under the jurisdiction of the governing body they are filed with, which means that something patented in the U.S. is only afforded patent rights in America. The technology can be taken to another country and developed by non-patent holder there without penalty, if the patented item is not already registered there.
When the term of protection granted by the patent has ended, the innovation enters the public domain where others become free to utilize and expand upon the patented information. Before marketing, producing and selling any new product is essential to check for any current patents held or pending for similar product or technology. This will help avoid patent infringement which can be a huge legal and financial complication.
Patent infringement is basically the use of patented information, technology, products and materials by any party other than the patent holder, or without the patent holder’s permission. The legal definition of patent infringement often varies based on location and jurisdiction, but it typically includes using, selling or marketing the patented invention. In order to avoid patent infringement, patent holder may grant businesses a license to use their innovation. Any business utilizing the patented property of another party should be especially careful of the terms of their usage, or risk running into unwanted legal complications.
At Tri-State Insurance Agency, we believe that the more businesses understand about their risk exposure, the better equipped they are at avoiding them. That’s why our New Jersey Business Insurance specialists take a proactive approach with our clients, working to develop the right risk management program to address your firm’s specific needs with tailored business insurance plans and services. We specialize in serving a broad range of sectors throughout the region, from small businesses to big corporations. To learn more about how we can help protect your operation, call our New Jersey Business Insurance specialists today at (888) 990-0526.