The patent entitle
The patent owner will have the exclusive right to prevent all others from using the patented invention while the patent registration remains in force. During this period, the patent owner may license the right to use the invention to other parties. Anyone who exploits the invention without the consent of the patent owner will infringe the patent, and damages for patent infringement and or other reliefs may be sought against the infringer. A patent is also a form of property, and may be assigned, licensed or mortgaged as a security interest.
Period of a registered Patent
The maximum term of a patent for most countries is generally 20 years from the date of filing for the patent, subject to the payment of renewal fees. In United States of America, patents relating to pharmaceutical substances and drug products may be extended by law beyond their normal terms subject to application and certain conditions being fulfilled. This also the case with drug patents issued by the European patent office.
Separate Patent Protection for Each counties
There is no such thing as a world wide patent. A patent only confers national rights on the patent holder in the country or countries in relation ti which the patent was granted. If protection is required is several counties, it is usually necessary for separate application to be filed in each country.
Where an application in a country which is a member of the Patent Co-orporation Treaty (PCT) desires to seek patent protection in various countries, we can make an international application under the PCT system. The PCT system enables an application to file a single international application designating large number of different countries around the world, although national applications have to be filed eventually in the countries where protection is required. The PCT system does not examine patent application fully nor grant patent. It is merely a system that facilitates the application for patent protection in more than one PCT contracting state.
In the international phase, the application would generally file a PCT application for a patent with the national office of the PCT country or the international Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The application can designate any number of PCT contracting regions states in the PCT application. Within a specified time frame, the applicant must enter the national phase in each of the countries designated if he wishes to obtain patent protection in those countries. The national phase entry application is dealt with according to the patent laws and procedures of the individual countries.
In Europe, it is possible to file a single application at the European patent office to seek patent protection in the 26 European countries which the parties to the European Patent Convention (EPC). A patent application filed under the EPC will, if granted, be effective in each country which the application has designated in the application. A European patent confers on its proprietor, in each contracting State for which is granted, the same rights as would be conferred by a national patent granted in that State.
Patent enforced during Infringement
Generally, legal proceedings may be brought in court against the infringer, and reliefs such as injunction, order to deliver up or destroy any infringing products, damages or account of profits and legal costs may be entertained. The proceedings should be initiated before the expiry of the statutory period.
Interim orders such as an interlocutory injunction or a search seizure order may also be sought against an infringer. An interlocutory injunction prevents the infringer from continuing his alleged infringing activities until the trial of the action. Such a remedy may be sought even before legal action is commenced, or any time after that. The grant of the injunction is usually at the discretion of the court. The court ofter considers the broad question of whether the interests of justice will be served by granting or refusing the injunction.
Although the interlocutory injunction is only meant to last until trail, cases are frequently settled out of court once the infringer is restrained from continuing his activities. An Anton Piller order allows a search to be carried out on the infringer's premises to inspect and seize infringing articles or documents, usually subject to the infringer's right to invoke privilege against self-incrimination. The main objective of such an order is to prevent the destruction or concealment of evidence of infringement.