Crimes and Justice series 7: Infringement of a Patent
“Recap”: Over the last few weeks, we have been discussing about the Legal devices available for the protection of Ideas that are expressed into writings or speaking known as copyright and even protection of accustomed images otherwise known as Trademark or Logo. In this series, it’ll be about the protection available for inventions, (the accustomed way or procedure of doing things).
Those ideas in all their entirety formats from the creation, inventions and the unique procedure taken to process them are all regarded as intellectual property.
Patent is the exclusive right granted to an individual to be known as inventor of a product.
This idea could emerge from Technology, Agriculture, Architecture amongst others but what really matters is the unique way of carrying out the product otherwise known as process.
Extensively, it is an exclusive right to the benefits of an invention or improvement granted for a specific period of time, on the basis that it is novel (not previously known or described in a publication), it is “non-obvious” (a form which anyone in the field of expertise could identify), and useful.
Relatively, an invention is patentable if it is new, results from inventive activity and is capable of industrial application.
If it constitutes an improvement upon a patented invention and also is new, results from inventive activity and is capable of industrial application.
An invention is new if it does not form part of the state of the art, if it does not obviously follow from the state of the art, either as to the method, the application, the combination of methods, or the product which it concerns, or as to the industrial result it produces.
An invention is capable of industrial application if it can be manufactured or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.
There are three types of patents:
a) “Utility Patent”, which includes a process, a machine (mechanism with moving parts), manufactured products, and compounds or mixtures (such as chemical formulas)
b) “Design Patent”, which is a new, original and ornamental design for a manufactured article
c) “Plant Patent”, which is a new variety of a cultivated asexually reproduced plant.
A utility or plant patent lasts Twenty (20) years and can be renewed through all types of required payment of “maintenance” fees payable after the issuance to keep them up.
The regulating laws of Patent and Offence related to Patents and Designs under the Nigerian Legislations is the Patent and Design acts Chapter and
An infringement of the rights of a patentee or design owner shall be actionable at the suit of the patentee or design owner in question; and in any action for such an infringement all such relief by way of damages, injunction, accounts or otherwise shall be available to the plaintiff as is available in any corresponding proceedings in respect of the infringement of other proprietary rights.
Though, the regulating laws did not stipulate but gave the court unreserved power to grant damages that may be in form of monetary value in whatever amount as may be deemed fit.
An injunction could be an order compelling the infringing party from further infringement, an order to destroy or return the infringed products back to the original patentee whom otherwise could be the inventor.
(gen.) Patents and Designs Act, chapter 344 Laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Collins Dictionary of Law W.J. Stewart, 2006
1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill.
These are just the author’s opinion on the written article and will not be liable for any inconsistency therewith.
SAHEED, Afeez Ayinde
Deemlawful is a pupil of law, University of Ilorin, Blogger | Analyst | Legal writer | Public Speaker | Professional | Activist |
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