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The most commonly-known patents are utility patents. A utility patent is granted for a new and useful innovation that has practical application. There are also design patents, for novel product designs.
A common misperception is that a patent grants its holder the right to practice an invention. Instead, a patent is only a negative grant: a right to prevent others from practicing a claimed invention.
Most every country in the world has its own regime of granting patents for invention. Laws and requirements vary. For example, through computer software is widely patentable, including in the U.S., Europe does not sanction software patents.
The U.S. Patent Office (USPTO), as part of the Commerce Department, is responsible for granting patents in this country.
The patent office giveth, and the prior art taketh away.
A granted patent has a nominal life of 20 years from the time of filing. During the life of a patent, a patent holder may sell the patent, license it, or enforce granted patents rights.
There is no open market for patents; hence, no ready way to commercialize a patented invention. Further, companies are seldom willing to license a patent without persuasion. Thus litigation is typically required when a patent is infringed.
While not providing legal advice, Patent Hawk helps patent holders and defendants understand the process and risks of patent litigation. Patent Hawk works with the best litigation attorneys in this country, and can recommend appropriate counsel.
Undeserving patents may be granted, while meritorious invention may go unrewarded. Patents are often granted where invalidating prior art went unfound. Otherwise, patent claims may be legally defective by virtue of how they were drafted. Patent Hawk has the expertise to determine the quality of a patent, both in light of prior art (35 U.S.C. §102, §103) and claim quality (35 U.S.C. §101, §112).
A patent holder who sells or licenses a patent typically obtains only a small fraction of its market value. This is because the licensee or buyer bears the risk of realizing by product sales an invention's worth.
Many patents are invalid over prior art, or otherwise defective. A few are worth something. Patent Hawk can determine a patent's validity, and estimate its value using econometric techniques, based upon existing market conditions and future prospects. Patent Hawk prepares due diligence reports of patents for presentation to prospective buyers and brokers.