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Dealing with patent infringement as a business owner

Intellectual property is often key to the success of a business. One way that Georgia business owners choose to protect their intellectual property is to file for patents. Many believe that a patent provides complete and total protection against infringement, but this is unfortunately not always the case.

What is patent infringement?

An act is considered patent infringement when someone makes, sells or uses a patented item or product without the patent holder’s permission. There are different types of infringement depending on how the nonauthorized individual or business is using the patent. Examples include:

  • Contributory infringement
  • Direct infringement
  • Indirect infringement
  • Literal infringement
  • Willful infringement

When to take action

A patent infringement can cause confusion among customers and negatively impact daily business operations. For these reasons alone it is important to take swift action. There is also a time limit on taking legal action. Patent holders only have six years from the initial infringement date to take legal action. If the patent holder does not file a lawsuit within those six years, then the infringement is ratified and allowed to continue.

Every business owner in Georgia wants to succeed. Patent infringement in any form can threaten the ability of a business to grow and thrive. Pursuing legal action against a party that is infringing on a patent is generally an essential step, but it can be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with this aspect of business law. Finding the right guidance often makes all the difference for business owners who are unsure of their next step.