Direct and indirect patent infringement

What does exactly mean that a patent has been “infringed”?

Once a patent has been applied for, its owner has a monopoly on the use of the protected subject matter. The monopoly entitles him to make use of his right to injunctive relief and to prohibit others from using the corresponding object. If there is an unlawful use and thus a patent infringement, the patent holder can claim compensation for this and assert a claim for damages.

In the course of infringement in patent and trade mark law, a distinction can be made between direct and indirect patent infringement.

§ Sec. 9 Patent Act defines direct patent infringement. According to this, any third party is prohibited from making, offering to make or using in any form a product or process which is the subject matter of the patent without the permission of the patent proprietor.

§ Section 10 PatG, on the other hand, explains the facts of indirect patent infringement, which noticeably extends the scope of protection of a patent. The relevant section allows the owner of the patent to prohibit means suitable for the use of the patent – regardless of whether they are protected by the patent.

In practice, this means that the use of a component incorporated in a patent-protected object by someone other than the patent proprietor is prohibited.

Are you planning to register your patent but you are afraid of committing a patent infringement? Book a first consultation at our law firm and one of our patent attorneys will be able to advise you.