Guide On Patent Infringement Laws: A Global Perspective

Ideas and innovation are the cornerstones of any successful corporation. Given that modernisation and globalisation has had a significant impact on corporations, it is only fair that the ideas defining these businesses are given protection from being misused, manipulated or stolen. Stolen ideas is a modern-day problem playing on capitalism by generating revenue to the 'thief'. With the view of preventing this, ideas and innovations are being granted patents now.

A patent, in simpler terms, is a right granted to an inventor over his invention by a sovereign authority providing the inventor with exclusive rights over the ownership of the process, design or invention. A patent granted to the investor is for a set period in return for disclosure of the invention. Infringing such a right gives the inventor a right to claim for remedies against the infringer. The claim includes and is not limited to injunctions, damages, account of profits, declarations and so much more depending on the jurisdiction of the disputed invention.

Infringement of patents reign in all industries, from Apple making a claim against Samsung over an infringing patent on their smartphones and tablets to the 'Da Vin Ci Code' book to movie rights disputed. This article aims to give a global perspective on patent infringement by analysing the different rules and regulations governing these jurisdictions and the various remedies available, respectively.

United Kingdom (UK)

Governing Law and Overview

Patent infringement is a statutory tort as per the common law. In the United Kingdom, there exist well-structured legislations to govern patent rights and infringement. The Patent Act 1977 (as amended) (PA 1977) sets out the various rights and remedies governing patents in the UK. The later legislation Patent Rules passed in 2007 deals with the procedure involved in filing a patent with the UK Patent Office (known as the Intellectual Property Office), filing a patent infringement lawsuit, challenging the validity of the patent, opposing the grant of a patent and other related matters. There are Civil Procedure Rules governing patent rights in the UK as well however these CPR apply exclusively to England and Wales and not to Scotland and Northern Ireland as they have their own rules and regulations in the local courts.


As with all jurisdictions, in the UK a patent is perceived to be infringed when the invention is put to use by someone who is not authorised. Section 60 of...

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