If you have invented a useful and marketable product, you are probably wondering how to go about getting a patent. Getting a patent requires diligent documentation, witness statements and plenty of research. However, once you have a patent, the rewards are great and you will have earned several rights.
To obtain an Injunction for Unlawful Use
An inventor’s worst nightmare is to have someone steal their idea. If you have a patent and you catch someone doing this, you may file an injunction against them. Put simply, an injunction is a judicial order that prohibits a person or entity from carrying out a certain action. There are two types of injunctions that would apply to a patent issue in the state of Florida: preliminary and permanent. A preliminary injunction is entered by a court before it reaches a final decision on a given case. If the court decides in your favor, the injunction will become permanent. If a judge decides in favor of the defendant, your case would be dismissed. Temporary injunctions are issued to litigants when the case is shown to have a likelihood of success. There must be an immediate threat of irreparable damage to you or your product. You must also establish that the balance of harm is in your favor. There are some cases in which you may be asked to prove that the injunction would serve the public interest. When a preliminary injunction is issued, it is not uncommon for the defendant to give up and cease trying to use the plaintiff’s invention. A preliminary injunction more often than not becomes permanent. Convincing a judge that you are likely to win a case requires a keen knowledge of patent law and an understanding of patent history and the decisions of the judge in your case. A good attorney can present a judge with a documented history of your product and the steps you took to patent it in the first place.
Significant Patent Cases
Ever since the United States Congress passed the U.S. Patent Act
in 1870, people have been arguing over patent infringement. One of the most noteworthy cases includes Bowman versus Monsanto in which the United States Supreme Court determined that the seed giant Monsanto had the right to decide precisely how and when its seeds would be used. A farmer was found to be at fault for saving seeds from one season and planting them the next year. Monsanto sold the seeds under a limited-use license, which said that the farmer could only use them for one season. Monsanto sued the farmer for patent infringement and won, in spite of the fact that the farmer had bought the seeds via a third party. In 2013, the medical technology company Ilife successfully sued the game company Nintendo for copying its motion sensing technology and using its Wii game controls. The controllers used Accelerometers to determine the motions that the players were making. Nintendo was ordered to pay the tiny company $10 million for patent infringement. The United States Patent Office has recently issued hundreds of patents for cannabis related
products. However, these patents may not hold up and court, because the popular and controversial herb is not legal on a federal level. Attorneys will undoubtedly be arguing about the legality of these patents for years to come. If and when marijuana is legalized on a federal level, there is sure to be a backlog of infringement cases waiting to be heard by courts around the country.
To Allow Others to Use Your Patent
Once you have a patent, you may allow others to use it. One of the most lucrative ways to go about this is to license your product to them. Online giant Amazon famously sued Barnes and Noble for mimicking its one-click payment
system. Barnes and Noble got around the one-click design by requiring its customers to click twice when making purchases. The case was in court for years until the companies came to an undisclosed agreement. Amazon went on to make a fortune when companies used its one-click design. Their patent expired in 2011.
To Sell or Gift Your Patent
Getting your invention patented allows you to sell your methodology, design, or utility to a company or to gift the idea to anyone you so choose. Selling your patent is beneficial because you will get money right away. You will be able to recover the cost of development and you will not need any money to market the idea yourself. When you sell your patent, you will need to come to a Patent Assignment Agreement with the buyer and you will need to determine how much your patent is worth by analyzing its position for profitability in its market. It is very important to work with a patent attorney who can assist you with drawing up an agreement and researching your product’s profitability. In the early 1990s, Paul Brown invented a valve which allows consumers to store liquid products upside down without leaking. He initially licensed his product to various condiment giants under his own company. He eventually sold the company and the rights to his product for $13 million.
To Sell Your Patented Product
When you have a patent on a product you can always opt to market the product yourself. Remember that you will have to pay for the costs of manufacturing and marketing your invention, so be sure to do your research and take all costs into consideration before renting out that warehouse or manufacturing plant. There are some people who have been quite successful at marketing their own inventions. Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop has marketed over 100 products on networks such as QVC. You have worked hard on your product, and your time and effort should not be in vain. The legal professionals at the Patent Professor
can help you apply for your patent, collect all the necessary evidence, and make sure you get the credit and compensation you deserve. Contact us today.