American invents act has stopped the damage charge claiming false marking statute.
The American invents act has taken a major legal step against the marking statute. Before the enforcement of American invents act, anyone could file a case against any company accusing for selling the product that marked with numbers of expired patents or patents which did not cover the products. The suit was filed as qui tam action by which the plaintiff could collect up to 500 Dollars per unit of product sold. With the strength of the law, numerous numbers of false suits were filed claiming the compensation of millions of units of products. To avoid the long-term litigation process and financial burden, most of the manufacturers settled the matter outside the court.
If a manufacturer sells a product that affixes a false mark to assert the customer that the product is patented with the intention to deceive the customer that will be treated as unlawful activities. Any person who will be involved with this illegal activity will be punished up to $500.00 per unit of product under the Section 292 (a) of the patent act. The one half of the penalty will go to the person and the US Government will get the other half.
On 16th of September 2011, President Obama signed into the law of American invents act. That drastically cut the facilities of the plaintiffs who sued a manufacturer under the section 292 (a) of patent law. The major changes were
- Amendment abolishes of qui tam provision of 292 (b).
- It permits the Government only to collect the penalty.
- It limits the amount of damages of the plaintiff. It will be calculated on the basis of competitive injury due to false patent.
Congress has also proposed the legislation will be applicable to the pending cases as well. The new decision of the Federal Court in Rogers vs Tristar case cleared the confusion over the retroactive clause. In that case the plaintiff Rogers complained that defendant Tristar’s claim on the patent of its power juicers is false and misleading. Rogers claimed $500 for every unit sold in the market. Rogers argued that application of retroactive clause under section 292 in the case will violate the Fifth Amendment of litigation rights. However, the Court observed that the intention of the 292 amendment to protect companies from having to expend resources to defend themselves from claims that they intentionally sought to harm consumers. Therefore, the Court denied the reconsideration motion of Rogers.
The verdict will bring the end of false marking statue cases.
For more information on the issues raised by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act or other intellectual property matters, please contact:Lex Protector
By Aurobinda Panda: By Aurobinda Panda
Founder & C.E.O of Lex Protector International Law Office
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