Patents are a key form of intellectual property protection. The process of obtaining a patent is complex and often quite lengthy. Patent prosecution can take months, if not more than a year, to complete. Individuals and businesses typically require professional support to ensure that they abide by all of the rules and execute paperwork appropriately.
They will also likely require ongoing support, as patent infringement is somewhat common. The more valuable and groundbreaking a patented concept is, the more likely outside parties are to infringe on a patent.
Discovering patent infringement often leads to litigation
Even big companies face patent violations. Investing in research and development for new ideas could potentially give a person or a business a competitive edge. However, patent protections don’t automatically prevent others from misusing a patented idea.
Even successful businesses that have prosecuted their patents often end up in court, embroiled in lengthy lawsuits over violations of their intellectual property rights. For example, Nokia, a Finnish technology company, recently filed lawsuits in a variety of different jurisdictions over violations of its patents.
The company alleges that both Amazon and HP Inc. have illegally used its patents related to video streaming, including video compression technology, without proper licensing agreements. Licensing can provide a business with a stream of income while allowing others to access a patented idea. As with patent prosecution, patent enforcement is often a very challenging process that will require professional support.
Nokia likely faces months of intense negotiations that may culminate in civil court proceedings. Having the right help when obtaining or enforcing a patent can make a major difference to those who have invested in research and development.