Patent is one of the tools that is used to protect inventions, through which the owner of the invention can prevent other party from making, using, or selling his invention for a limited period of years, however obtaining a patent does not necessarily mean getting absolute protection for the invention as most people think. In order to provide maximum protection for their patent, the owners of patent shall provide a notice of patent protection in order to maximize the potential damages the owner can seek if the patent is infringed. Such notice is provided by properly marking their patented products, packaging, or labels.
What is the meaning of patent marking?
Patent marking is affixing the patent number on the patented product in order to provide a constructive notice to the public of your patent. By doing so, alleged infringers are liable for patent infringement as soon as possible even if they don’t have actual knowledge of your patent.
What are the types of patent marking?
There are two types for patent marking which are:
- The Traditional patent marking
By this type of marking, the owner affixes the patent number on the product, packaging or label.
” This patent marking method requires that the product or its packaging clearly identify the patent(s), which cover the product. However, the problem with this type of marking is that the patents expire over time, thus the product, packaging or label will need to be updated continually each time a patent is added or removed.
- The Virtual patent marking
By this type of marking, the owner affixes website address on the product, packaging or label that would allow a person to find the patent(s) that cover that specific product.
The main advantage of this method is that the patent owner can quickly update its patent data website page without the costs of modifying product tooling or packaging (e.g., for newly issued, expired, or invalidated patents).