Patent Cooperation Treaty Patent Applications have the potential to mature into Patents in most nations, but currently, there is no enforceable World Patent. Unaddressed Patent infringement can reduce your company’s profits.
Patent Rights in Multiple Jurisdictions
Many companies own patent rights in at least some of the jurisdictions in which they conduct business.
What If We Don’t Own Patent Rights in Jurisdictions Where We Do Business?
A frequent multijurisdictional situation is:
My Company owns ten US Patents, three European Patents, five Chinese Patents and three Japanese Patents. The Patents cover the company’s fifth most profitable product.
At a tradeshow in Singapore, our regional vice president discovers that a Vietnamese company has duplicated our invention and is exporting the duplicated invention to Australia, Canada and Japan. Further, the Vietnamese company intends to export the invention to Germany and the United States.
What Can You Do About “Knock offs” of Your Product Overseas?
As a general rule, Patent rights are only enforceable in the jurisdiction that granted the Patent.
- In Australia and Canada, your company owns no Patent Rights and cannot stop the importation and use of the knock off in those jurisdictions
- If Germany is one of the European nations covered by the European Patents, then your company can utilize European counsel to assert its Patent rights in Germany
- In Japan, your company can use Japanese counsel to enforce its Japanese Patent rights
- In the United States, your company can utilize US counsel to enforce its Patent rights that can include a court order to stop the knock offs at the port of entry
In the global economy, when another determines that your Company’s product is profitable, it is almost inevitable that someone will attempt to “bend the rules” and trade on your Company’s market share and goodwill for their own financial gain. Without Patent rights, you have little to no recourse in most jurisdictions.
What Should My Company Do To Prevent Patent Problems?
It is astute to procure Patent rights in all jurisdictions where your business plan, business model, actual and projected market forces justify the procurement of intellectual property.
A small front-end investment in intellectual property can reap increased future multijurisdictional sales.
If you have questions about your company’s multijurisdictional intellectual properties, please contact Business Patent Law, PLLC and we will discuss possibilities for your business and intellectual properties.
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