Sunday, October 29, 2006

Who Protects Patents?

U.S. patents are granted (issued) by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO is located in Alexandria, Virginia, and conducts business regarding patent applications almost exclusively in writing.

The responsibility for enforcement of an issued patent is the patent owner's burden. If someone is infringing an issued patent, and refuses the owner's demand to cease (or take a license), the owner's recourse is to file a federal District Court action for patent infringement.

The USPTO's involvement with issued patents is primarily limited to (a) collecting periodic maintenance fees (required to keep a patent from premature expiration), (b) examine reissue applications and (c) conduct reexamination requests.

More information on patents at
www.uspto.gov and www.noreklaw.com (my website).

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