Patent Marking via a Webpage

Law

An important change comes into effect on 1st October 2014 concerning the marking of products with "patented" or "patent pending" status.

Clients are advised when applying for a patent, and when a patent is granted, to appropriately mark their products and associated literature. This is for a number of reasons.  

 

 

Having a product marked "patented" or "patent pending" followed by the relevant country designation and number (e.g. GB1234567.8) provides a deterrent and informs the public of the existence of a patent application or granted patent, so that they can research the status and scope of the right.  If the number is not shown, however, an infringer can claim an 'innocent infringer' defence which means that the patent owner will not receive damages or an account of profits.  Other remedies, including an injunction, are available however.

Marking, however, can place a burden on business and individuals, because multiple applications may be filed in respect of the same product over a period of time, and sometimes in many different countries.  

From 1st October 2014, owners will be able to display their patent and application numbers on a webpage, e.g. a dedicated page on their company website, and then simply mark the product with the website address.  In this way, the website can be updated periodically to reflect patent filings in relation to products, which should be easier than physically marking products.

The website address provided on the product should refer the reader directly to a webpage which clearly associates the product with the relevant patent number(s).  The product must be clearly identified, e.g. using product a code. The webpage should be kept up-to-date.  

For further information, please contact one of our attorneys who will be able to advise, with examples.

Warning: note that it is an offence to indicate that a product is patented or patent pending if, in fact, it is not. Therefore, where patent rights are abandoned or lost, care should be taken to remove the relevant number as soon as possible.