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Infringement (of a Patent)

Definition : Infringement (of a Patent)

The infringement of patent consists in any infringement of the patent.

Patent infringement occurs when someone makes, sells or uses a patented invention without the patentee's authorization.

Article L. 613-3 of the French Intellectual Property Code precisely lists these infringements:

"a) The manufacture, offering, placing on the market, use, import, export, transshipment, or possession for the aforementioned purposes of the product which is the subject of the patent;
. b) The use of a process covered by the patent or, where the third party knows or where circumstances make it obvious that the use of the process is prohibited without the consent of the patent owner, the offer of its use on French territory;
c) Offering, placing on the market, using, importing, exporting, transhipping or holding for the aforementioned purposes the product obtained directly by the process which is the subject of the patent."

Article L. 613-4 (1) adds to this the supply of means having enabled the infringement: "It is also prohibited, in the absence of the consent of the owner of the patent, to deliver or offer to deliver, on French territory, to a person other than those entitled to exploit the patented invention, the means of implementation, on this territory, of this invention relating to an essential element thereof, when the third party knows or when circumstances make it obvious that these means are suitable and intended for such implementation. "

Patent infringement can lead to several legal problems, including:

  1. Civil liability. The patent holder can take legal action against the infringer to obtain damages for the violation of its intellectual property rights.
  2. Criminal liability. In some cases, patent infringement can be considered a criminal offence, punishable by fines and imprisonment.
  3. Provisional injunction. The patent owner can also seek a court order prohibiting the infringer from continuing to manufacture, sell or use the patented invention.
  4. Confiscation des produits contrefaits. Les autorités peuvent saisir les produits contrefaits et les détruire ou les remettre au titulaire du brevet.
  5. International litigation. Patent infringement can also lead to international litigation, as patents are generally granted on a national level and infringement of intellectual property rights can occur in several countries.

Due to the complexity of intellectual property and patent laws, patent infringement can lead to significant legal problems for the parties involved, including high legal costs, financial penalties and negative reputational consequences for the companies involved.

The patent attorney works alongside the patentee or alleged infringer.