question.jpgIn Patents

What is direct infringement?

Patent infringement occurs when someone violates the patent rights an inventor has in his invention by making, using or selling the invention without the patent owner’s permission (or if the patent has been licensed), in a way not permitted by the license). One type of infringement, and the most common one, is direct infringement. Direct infringement occurs when someone directly makes, uses or sells the patented invention within the United States. For example, if you have a patent for a Doohickey, and I start selling Doohickeys without your permission, I am directly infringing your patent. It should be noted, however, that direct infringement does not include resale or repair, so if I own a Doohickey, I can repair it or resell it without violating your patent.

This differs from indirect infringement, such as contributory infringement and induced infringement, which are where someone does something less than actually making, using or selling the invention, but is still involved in steps that ultimately lead to a direct infringement of the patented invention.