Use Patent Translation Service to Protect Your Patent Abroad
We’ve blogged about professional patent translation services in the context of the US patent law. You’ve worked hard to protect your patent in the United States, and have even filed patents in other countries – all part of a strategy to protect your intellectual property rights around the globe. After all, you’ve spend time and money developing and marketing the product and don’t want to see anyone else profit from it
Unfortunately, no matter how much you plan, if your patent is infringed, bringing an international patent infringement case is not easy. Therefore, it is essential that you develop a comprehensive strategy for protecting your patent no matter where the infringement occurred.
Every country has different laws and rules that apply to patent violations. In fact, there are over 200 countries where some degree of patent rights is recognized. One of these areas is the European Union. However, the EU lacks a common system that governs patent violations. Instead of a single procedure, violations must be filed in each individual country and in accordance with that country’s own unique rules.
In the Czech Republic, for example, a claim must be filed within a month after the patent holder becomes aware of a violation – that’s not a lot of time! And there are multiple ways that a claim can be processed. The country has an organization for filing claims, but claims can also be filed against the patent violator directly. Even though you must quickly file your claim, it can take months before your case is heard.
What You Can Do
The number one rule when undertaking patent litigation is to always have a goal. Do you want to have the organization cease production of the product or do you want to receive compensation for the violation? This often depends on the scope of the violation and the size of the organization. For example, Apple has more resources to pursue an international patent violation than a medium-sized business.
Besides different laws governing patent violations, countries have different laws governing the actual procedure. Some countries allow discovery and conduct a trial similar to the United States. Others have a completely different process, so research and hiring local, qualified legal staff is a must.
In addition, different courts require different types of evidence. Do you have an expert who can testify on the validity of the claim? What did you specifically file as evidence during the initial patent claim?
In China, there has been some improvement in patent enforcement, especially when it comes to intellectual property, but the process still leaves much to be desired. In fact, many US companies have complained to government officials about the lack of transparency with the Chinese patent enforcement. They say there is no clear guideline on when a case is accepted and what guidelines are used as evidence. And many believe the system benefits Chinese companies.
On top of all these legal and procedural differences there’s the issue of language. As a general rule, all documents (including the patent itself) will have to be filed with a foreign language translation. More so, all court procedures will be in the local language, so having a qualified foreign language interpreter is always highly advise.