7 – Infringement Of A Patent Is Generally A Legal Matter Between Parties

In most countries, infringement of a patent is not a crime. That is, it is not a wrongful act against the state and therefore, you do not go to jail. Infringement of someone else’s patent rights is a civil wrong committed against a person or entity. It is up to the offended, in this case the owner of the patent, to seek a legal remedy for the violation of his/her rights. Enforcement of patent rights is left to the owner of the rights. Nothing may happen if the patent owner does not become aware of the infringement or if it decides not to take any action against the infringer of the patent. In the case that the owner of the rights enforce its rights, it may try to settle the matter with the infringer out of court. Alternatively, it may decide to file a suit against the infringer in a court. The remedies that a court may grant for a patent owner are an injunction (order to stop the offender from doing the wrongful act), award of damages (monetary compensation to the owner of the rights) and an account of profits (payment of the profits made from the infringement of the patent to the patent rights holder).

In a few countries, notably Mexico and Germany, infringement is punishable by a fine and imprisonment. Other countries, including Sweden and Norway, only provide for fines and imprisonment for willful infringment.

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