Patent Exclusive Rights: Everything You Need to Know
Patent exclusive rights can to stop other companies from using, selling, or making an invention in the United States or from importing it into the country.3 min read
2. What Does the "Right to Exclude" in Patent Law Mean?
3. What Is the Process in Correcting Granted Patents?
4. What Are the Types of Patent Licenses?
Patent exclusive rights are the rights a patent has to stop other companies from using, selling, or making an invention in the United States or from importing it into the country. This also refers to the possessions and territories that the patent term has for 20 years from the date the original application was filed in the country. Maintenance fees are required to be paid over the years.
What is the Process When an Inventor is Granted a Patent?
When an inventor applies for a patent and gets granted that patent, the U.S. patent in the name of the United States will come in the mail with the seal of the Patent and Trademark Office. This is signed by a U.S. Patent Office official or by the Commission of Patents and Trademarks. The patent will have a grant to the patentee as well as a printed copy of the drawing and specification that's annexed to the forms and patent.
What Does the "Right to Exclude" in Patent Law Mean?
A patent doesn't grant the right to any of the following:
- Making the invention
- Using the invention
- Selling the invention
- Importing the invention
Instead, it just grants the particular nature of the right. A person can usually use or sell what they want, and a grant from the government isn't necessary. The patent just gives the person the right to stop others from using or selling the invention. The patentee's right to do this depends on what the general laws are and the rights of others.
What Is the Process in Correcting Granted Patents?
Just because a patentee has been given a patent for their invention, it doesn't mean that they're authorized to use, sell, make, or important their invention if it means they'll be violating a law. For example, someone who invents a new vehicle and has received a patent isn't entitled to use that vehicle in states where a license is required. They also can't sell it if a law forbids the sale just because they have a patent.
If there's been a clerical error in the patent, a new certificate can be ordered without charge if the printed patent and the one in the office don't correspond. These corrections are mainly typographical errors that are made during printing. Small errors that the applicant made can be corrected with a certificate of correction and will be required to pay a fee.
The patentee might try to remove one of their claims by filing a disclaimer with the office. When the patent is found defective, the law lets the patentee apply to get a reissue patent. This will replace their original one and is only granted for the remainder of the unexpired term. However, new subjects can't be added and the changes are someone limited.
A person can put in a request to have the patent re-examined and include the fee that's required based on prior art having printed publications or patents. At the end of the proceedings for re-examining the patent, a certificate is issued that shows the results of the proceeding. After the expiration date for the patent expires, anyone can then use or sell the invention without needing permission. This stands true as long as it's not covered by any other patents that are unexpired. The terms can be extended for specific pharmaceuticals and circumstances that the law provides.
What Are the Types of Patent Licenses?
Having an exclusive patent license is defined as no other business or person besides the licensee is able to use the intellectual property rights. According to federal law, only one licensee can use, sell, or make an invention during the lifespan of the patent for commercial purposes. Licensing regulations for government-owned inventions demand that federal agencies must look over the applicant's plans before giving them an exclusive license. This is also called the commercialization plan.
A non-exclusive license gives the licensee the freedom to manage intellectual property. However, the government is still free to give out an unspecified number of licensees identical rights to use, make, or sell this technology. This is why it's important to research the options before applying for a license.
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