Scope of legal protection
The scope of legal protection conferred by patent is determined by the claims. The description and the drawings may be used to interpret the claims. Claims are considered to cover not only all the elements as expressed in the claims but also their equivalents.
Rights of the Owner of a patent
Where a patent concerns a product (equipment, material etc.) the owner of the patent has the right to prevent third parties from:
- the manufacturing of product incorporating the patented invention;
- the offering, importing or providing as well as stocking for the market a product
- incorporating a patented invention.
Where the patent concerns process the owner of the patent has the right to prevent third parties from performing without authorization the following acts:
- the using of process which is subject-matter of patent;
- to perform acts mentioned above to the product patent with respect to any product directly obtained by such process even if such product is not patentable.
The owner of the patent has no right to prevent third parties from performing acts mentioned above provided that :
- the act is done privately and for non-commercial purposes and it does not significantly prejudice the economic interests of the owner of the patent.
- the act is purely for experimental purposes of scientific research.
- the act consists of preparing medicines for individual cases is a pharmacy upon the prescription of a physician.
The owner of the patent has the right to prevent third parties from supplying or offering to supply essential elements of the patented invention.
Rights of the patent application and the patent itself are inheritable. The state will not inherit these rights.
Right of prior use
Persons who in good faith were using or have made serious preparations for use of patented subject matter before filing date has the right to continue such use without taking into consideration the will of Patent owner.
CONSIDERATION OF DISPUTES AND ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS
Any disputes arising before the grant of the patent between the applicant and the State Patent Bureau regarding the date of filing the patent application, conclusions of the examination and the refusal to grant a patent are to be dealt with by the Board of Appeals of The State Patent Bureau.
Lithuania has no any special Patent court, so the disputes regarding the patenting of the inventions are dealt with by Vilnius District Court, i.e. disputes regarding:
- decisions of the Board of Appeals to refuse to grant a patent;
- assignment of a patent application or a patent property to another person;
- recognition of the granted patent to be invalid;
- infringement of the published patent application or the granted patent;
- ascertainment of non-infringement of the patent;
- annulment of a compulsory license grant or patent.
Protection of rights
The owner of the patent or the applicant has the right to institute court proceedings against a person who has infringed or is infringing the patent or published patent application for which provisional protection is granted and to require the termination of infringing acts as well as compensation of damages.
Patent owner or applicant also has the right to institute court proceeding against any person who is performing acts which make it likely that such infringement will occur.
The prescription term is three years from establishment of the fact of infringement.
Unless the license agreement provides otherwise, any licensee may request the owner of the patent to take the measures to protect his rights obtained under license agreement. Licensee may, if he proves that the Patent owner received his request but failed to institute the proceedings against infringer within three month, institute the court proceedings against the infringer in his own name, after notifying the owner of the patent of his intention.
If subject matter of a patent is a process for obtaining a product and the product produced by the defendant is new and there is the reason to believe that the product is produced by infringing a patent , but plaintiff is unable through reasonable efforts to determine the process actually used, the defendant must prove that the product does not infringe the patent.
Any person concerned has the right to institute court proceedings against the owner of the patent requesting the court to declare that the performance of specific act does not constitute infringement of the patent. If the person proves that the acts performed by him do not constitute infringement of the patent, the court shall pass the decision of non-infringement.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general information. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.