Overview of Patent Exploitation

BlogIntellectual Property RightsPatent    June 15, 2022
Overview of Patent Exploitation Posted On

A patent refers to a form of Intellectual Property (IP) granted over any method, process, device, or substance (after a successful Patent Application process) that is original, novel, industrially applicable, and involves an inventive step. Like trademarks, Patent Rights are also territorial, which implies that such exclusive rights are valid only in the country or region where the patent in question has been filed and granted, as per the law of that country or region. Patent holders own the exclusive right to exploit their patented inventions or innovations. This right can bring multiple benefits; however, it is not a guarantee of success. Nevertheless, we can say that a patent is the right to reap the rewards of your invention’s research and development process.

The questions of whether and how a patented invention can be exploited are not influenced by the patent alone. Other regulations, rules, laws, applicable legislation, and possibilities of technical implementation also impose certain limits. For instance, despite having Patent Protection, a substance must initially obtain approval for a medicine before the corresponding invention could be sold as a drug. In another scenario, it is possible for a patented invention to improve the functioning of some specific machine. Now, if that machine gets patented by others, their rights need to be observed well.

Kindly note that:

  • A person owning the patent grant or another person (with authorization from the person owning the patent grant) holds the exclusive right to exploit the said patented invention.
  • The exclusive right to exploit a patented invention extends only in the country or region where patent protection is granted to the owner. 

How to Exploit Your Patented Invention?

Without any second thoughts, patents always constitute an economic value. Exploiting this value or generating it lies in the hands of the patent owner.

  • Exploit Your Patent Invention Commercially – The profits you make by selling your innovative services or patented products compensate for the time, effort, and cost you invested during the R&D stage of your invention.
  • Let Others Exploit Your Patented Invention Commercially – There may a situation where an established firm, start-up, or person shows a commercial interest in your patented invention. As the owner of the patented invention, you can assign or license your patent rights.
  • Assignment refers to the act of transferring, quite often by selling, your exclusive rights at a specific point in time. It implies that you can assign all your patent rights to some other individual or entity.

Let us consider an example to explain a crucial point concerning the patent assignment. If you own a patented invention in India, your patent rights extend everywhere across India; however, you may not want the other individual or entity to own the exclusive right to exploit your patent across all the Indian states and territories. You might be willing to keep the right to exploit your patented invention in some states and territories (for example – New Delhi, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Rajasthan) and only assign the rights to exploit the patented invention in the other states. Remember, once you assign your exclusive patent rights, you may be unable to get them back. If the patent assignment takes place, you must put it in writing and register it with the IP or Patent Office of the concerned nation.

On the other hand, if you receive the patent assignment, you must ensure that the assignment rights are defined well, described appropriately, and reflect the terms and conditions upon which you and the patent holder agreed (for instance, you are assigned the exclusive patent rights in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and not the other Indian states and territories). You must also ensure that such patent assignment is registered in the records of the IP or patent office of the concerned nation to avoid the risk of the patent assignment being invalid.

  • The other mode to exploit your patented invention is licensing your patent rights. Patent licensing is different from patent assignment as the former allows another individual or entity to do specific acts only for a limited period. Upon the expiration of that period, the exclusive rights granted under a license revert to the patent owner. Patent licensing can be exclusive, i.e., only the individual or entity granted the license holds the right to do certain acts, or non-exclusive, i.e., the individual or entity granted the license, the owner of the patented invention, and whoever is in receipt of such a license own the rights to do certain acts.

Kindly note that patent licensing and assignment agreements with third parties should always be negotiated and drafted with utmost care.

Bottom Line

A patent can be a valuable asset and should be well protected. However, it is not always an easy task. If you wish to have a better understanding of your patent rights, including their use and exploitation in the Indian Subcontinent, our attorneys and experts would be happy to assist you. Feel free to contact us at kashishipr@kashishipr.com! ✅ For more visit: https://www.kashishipr.com/

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