Enforcement of patents
Although the patent monopoly is granted by the state,
it is not policed by the state, and it is down to the patentee to take
action against any infringements of the monopoly.
Most infringement disputes are settled out of court,
with the infringer agreeing to stop infringing, with the patentee and
infringer agreeing a licence, or with the patentee realising that the
patent is not infringed or is invalid.
In a case which cannot be settled, the patentee can
take court action. On the one hand, if the patentee is completely
successful the remedies include an injunction to restrain continued
infringement, destruction of any infringing articles, damages or an
account of profits, and legal costs. On the other hand, if the patentee is
completely unsuccessful, the patentee may need to pay the infringer’s
costs, together with damages if the patentee obtained a temporary
injunction while the court action was pending.