Back to Basics: Patents Part 2

This is the second in a series of posts on the basics of patents.  The first post discussed the scope of a patent and how to obtain one.  This post will focus on the benefits of a patent and how you can enforce one. 

Now that you have a patent, what can it do for you?  A patent is only as good as your ability to enforce it.   A patent owner has the right to keep others from making, using, selling or offering for sale his/her patented invention.  A patented invention is defined by its claims.  The claims are the last part of the patent document and are numbered.  The claims define the “metes and bounds” of the invention. 

In a dispute, or when a patent is asserted against an alleged infringing party, the claims are interpreted to determine the scope of the invention.  Once the scope of the invention is determined, then that scope is applied to the alleged infringing activity to see if it falls within the scope of the patented claims. 

Patent infringement is a federal offense and may be brought in federal court.  Patent infringement provides for the recovery of both actual and punitive damages.  These may include up to three times the damages if the infringement is found to be willful or intentional.    A patent owner may also seek an injunction to stop existing and future infringing activity.  In some cases costs and attorneys fees are also recoverable.   

Capitalizing on innovative developments is critical to any organization.  Having the right person to help you make those decisions is important.  The Law Office of Kathleen Lynch PLLC is designed to help businesses such as yours keep ahead of the game.   The first telephone consultation is free.  Email us at