Patent infringement

Infringing someone else's patent may be a crime that can lead to prosecution.

As a patent holder, you can institute proceedings against someone who you believe is infringing your patent and, in a civil lawsuit, demand that the infringement stops. The Patents Act contains rules about liability in the event of infringement.

Freedom to operate

If you are planning to manufacture a product or use a particular technology, you should first check that you would not be infringing any patent rights. The responsibility is yours regardless of whether the infringement is inadvertent or not. Under certain circumstances, you can institute declaratory proceedings in court and demand that the court establishes that you did not infringe a particular patent.
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Defend your patent rights

If you discover that someone is infringing your patent, you should react quickly and be clear that you intend to defend your patent rights. It is possible that you and the infringer can draw up a licence agreement or agree to an amount of damages, without having to resolve the dispute in court.

Infringement disputes

Infringement disputes are settled by the national Patent and Market Court (Patent- och marknadsdomstolen), a division of District Court of Stockholm. The Patent and Market Court's decisions can be appealed to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal (Patent- och marknadsöverdomstolen, PMÖD, a division of Svea Court of Appeal). Finally, the decisions of the Court of Appeal may be appealed to the Supreme Court. However, this always requires leave to appeal, which is only granted in exceptional cases.
In an infringement dispute, the court can determine the scope of protection of a certain patent, since this can sometimes be difficult to decide in practice. The patent claims are to be interpreted by reference to the description, which does not mean that they may be unclearly worded in an attempt to increase the scope of protection. However, neither should the claims need to be interpreted literally, so that they could easily be circumvented by replacing a trivial detail.

Infringing someone else's patent may be a crime that can lead to prosecution.

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