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Rights Under a Patent

Rights under a Patent

A patent gives the patentee the right for 20 years from the application for the patent or the priority date to stop other people using the invention which is covered by a patent. As a result, during the patent protection period, you alone, as the proprietor or patentee, have the right to manufacture, use, import or sell the patented invention.

A product patent is infringed if another, without your consent makes, disposes of, uses, imports or keeps the product. In the case of a process patent, infringement rules are similar but also cover dealing in products derived from that process. With a process patent, it is necessary to show that an infringer is or ought to be aware that a patent is being infringed. With a patent for a product, it is unnecessary for you to show either of those elements.

As well as using a patent to prevent your competitors from using the invention, you may wish to grant a licence under that patent to another to use the invention, commonly in return for royalties. Alternatively, you can sell the patent outright to another by means of a patent assignment.

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