What is Patent Infringement?

Patents are intellectual property rights granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. With a patent, the owner has the right to exclude others from producing, using, or selling the invention in the U.S., or importing the invention into the U.S. for a set period of time. In exchange, the owner publicly discloses the invention when they receive the patent.

Patent infringement occurs when someone produces, uses, sells, or offers to sell a patented invention, or imports a product covered by a patent into the United States, without the patent owner’s permission.

An individual may have infringed a patent if they imported products into the United States that were made using a patented method, with the exception of items that have been materially changed by subsequent processes. Additionally, if a person actively encourages others to infringe patents, they too can be held liable in certain cases.

Legal Recourse for Patent Infringement

If a patent owner discovers that their patent has been infringed, they have legal recourse. Such an owner can sue in federal court for patent infringement. If the patent owner is successful, the court may order that the defendant pays money damages, and stops infringing on one or more patent claims.

Patent owners are within their rights to exclude others from producing, selling, offering to sell, using or importing a patented invention. Thus, a person may be held liable for infringing upon someone else’s technology.

Apple Ordered to Pay $533 Million in Patent Lawsuit

On Feb. 25, 2015, CNN Money reported that a Texas jury ordered Apple to pay $533 million for using technology in iTunes that was patented by Smartflash, a Texas-based company.

Smartflash claims that Apple violated three of its patents for managing and storing data, and that its technology was unlawfully used for several iTunes apps, including “Hero Academy” and “Wizard 101.”

Smartflash’s lead counsel said that the jury’s verdict provides long-overdue recognition for their client, Smartflash’s CEO, Patrick Racz.

Contact The Mirkhan Law Firm to speak with an Orange County business litigation attorney regarding a patent or trademark infringement claim.

Source for CNN article: http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/25/technology/apple-itunes-patent-lawsuit/

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