What is patent infringement?

Someone who exploits the patented invention without consentof the patent holder, is DIRECTLY or IMMEDIATELY INFRINGING the patent.

Exploitation means:

  • to the extent that the claims relate to a product (material or apparatus): the manufacture, selling, use and processing thereof as well as the import or storage for these purposes
  • to the extent that the claims relate to a method: applying this method and selling, using, processing, importing or possessing the products obtained directly by this method

The infringing exploitation must be ‘commercial’ and does not comprise pure research and private activities.

Someone who, without consent of the patent holder, offers or supplies means to people which relate to an essential element of the patented invention and who knows that these means are intended or at least are suitable for exploiting the invention, is infringing the patent by assisting or indirect infringement.

In determining the infringement, the similaritiesbetween that the exploited and the patented are decisive, not the differences.

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