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4 Common Legal Opinions Concerning Patents

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on May 1, 2017 1:12:34 AM
Brandon Selinsky
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When it comes to obtaining patent protection for a new and nonobvious invention, there is a lot to consider. Obtaining intellectual property rights in the form of a patent often requires a huge investment of time and financial resources.

However, the benefits of obtaining patent protection can far outweigh the upfront costs. Since patents are such a valuable assets, but also a costly undertaking, many people who are considering filing for a patent or who have already obtained a patent find obtaining legal opinions concerning various aspects of their invention or patent can be reassuring.

Whether you are considering pursuing patent protection for an invention or you already hold a patent, there are many situations where you may need a legal opinion concerning your intellectual property. 

Patentability Studies & Patentability Opinions

Obtaining a patent can be a significant investment of time and resources, so many business often want to get a legal opinion as to the patentability of the invention before filing with the Patent Office. After conducting a thorough search of the relevant art, and evaluating the invention to make sure that it satisfies the legal requirements for patent eligibility,[1], [2], [3] it can be determined whether there is a good chance that the invention is patentable.

Patentability searches sometimes reveal that the invention is actually not new or that the invention is obvious in view of what already exists in the world. Knowing whether something is patentable can help a business make the decision to commit resources to filing for patent protection.

Right-to-use Opinions

Your company may have developed a new technology or may have a novel invention, so it is important to make sure that your company will not infringe on the patent rights of others by using the new technology or invention.

A right-of-use opinion explores whether someone else already holds patent protection on the invention and determines whether your company is free to use the invention without infringing the intellectual property rights of others.

Right-to-use opinions are often helpful for protecting against increased damages associated with willful infringement in the event that your company is sued for infringement.

Infringement Legal Opinions

Circumstances might arise where your company holds patent rights and you believe that some competitor is infringing on your patent rights. An infringement opinion will examine the existing patent claims and will compare the claims to the allegedly infringing product or invention to carefully analyze whether infringement has occurred.

The opinion generally concludes with an assessment of your potential infringement situation and a recommendation as to whether you should file a patent infringement lawsuit.

Validity Legal Opinions

When a company is sued for allegedly infringing the patent rights of another, the accused infringing company often seeks a validity opinion. A validity opinion looks carefully at the allegedly infringed patent and the allegedly infringing product and makes an assessment about whether the accusations would stand up in court. Validity opinions can be invaluable when it comes to making decisions about whether to move forward with litigation or to settle the dispute.

[1] 35 USC Section 101.

[2] 35 USC Section 102.

[3] 35 USC Section 103.

Need help navigating the waters of intellectual property and patent law? Our attorneys are ready to help! Contact us today to see how we can best protect your intellectual property.

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Topics: Intellectual Property, International Law