Patent infringement searches are conducted to ensure that nobody makes, uses, or sells your patented invention without your consent. Infringement analysis determines whether a product or a process infringes upon an existing patent claim. As is known that a patent ensures monopolistic rights to the inventor; for any third party to practice the invention as a whole or even partially, explicit permission in terms of the license is sought. Any use, including selling or making a valid invention without the inventor’s permission, constitutes a patent infringement and is thus liable to be legally challenged. The result of the Patent Infringement Search is incorporated and elaborated as Evidence of Use (EoU). This shows potential or existing product infringement with proper mapping of claim elements of the subject patent.
Patent Infringement can be divided into different categories direct, indirect, wilful, literal, induced, and contributory. There are also exceptions, like experimental use and prior use to patent infringement. It is crucial to avoid patent infringement since it constitutes a penal offense. A patent infringement analysis search can be requested by the patentee or product owner in the case of both product and process patents.
To conduct an infringement analysis, firstly, the scope of the claim should be determined and then checked whether all elements of the claim are present in the product or process. To determine whether a patent covers a particular product, one must review the numbered claims of the patent such that if the product includes every element outlined in at least one of the claims (any independent claim, for instance), it is covered and said to literally “infringe” the patent. Suppose the product, however, omits even one element included in the claim, it may be deemed as not infringing from a literal infringement standpoint, and then the perspective changes to evaluation from a Doctrine of Equivalence (DOE) standpoint.
At IIPRD, our Patent Attorneys including Patent Agents and Engineers aim to identify potential infringers and scrutinize their products for potential patent infringement actions. Our professionals, upon client instructions, look out for entities working in similar technologies and review their products/technical specification and associated literature including undertaking reverse engineering to evaluate the possibility of patent infringement. This exercise is supplemented by analyzing relevant material like whitepapers or product datasheets before gathering evidence of misconduct via claim charts, including infringing results from our proprietary databases. Acclaimed market players have recognized the methodology adopted at IIPRD, wherein apart from identifying evidence of use and preparing claim charts based on the same, IIPRD also often renders infringement opinions where clients provide a particular product information and seek opinion as to whether a patent would be infringed by said product. Any other patent infringement exercise from either the patentee’s side or the potential defendant’s side are within the scope of offering that IIPRD renders. We appreciate and recognize the value of the latest technology and try to apply the same mixing with our experienced research and executive team from different technical and scientific backgrounds.
Patent Infringement – In-Depth Analysis
Patent Infringement – In-Depth Analysis
Our expert researchers carefully review product brochures/ technical specification sheets/datasheets/ review papers related to the product in question to confirm the inclusion of patented technology in the product.
Product Tear Down- ( Patent Infringement )
Product teardown reporting is a mechanical decomposition of technology-based devices. In industry, product teardown is generally used to understand how the product works and guide enterprises toward more streamlined solutions.
For assembled products, our team is well equipped with resources and facilities to tear down the completed product and list component code/marking and manufacturer of each component, along with a high-resolution photograph of the dismantling procedure to show the component’s location and associated electrical connections. We provide intelligence to phones, tablets, laptops, wearables, smart home devices, electrical appliances etc. This helps in-
- Identifying the underlying component thus opens the door for an in-depth review of product features given patented technology.
- Identifying the manufacturer of each component and thus expanding the list of potential infringers.
- Identifying details of contributory components involved in infringement thus helps in damage calculation.
- Estimating the bill of materials.
A typical Product Teardown involves following steps-
- Dismantling a product
- Carefully listing IC and other system components
- Capturing high-resolution images of components and electrical connections
To download a sample tear down report click here.
Input /Output Testing- ( Patent Infringement )
Our capabilities for testing the input/output of products to monitor their performance and uncover underlying features provide the cutting edge in concluding infringement of Wireless technology, Semiconductor Systems and Telecommunications. System-level analysis analyses and lists operation, function, timing, and other performance-related features to compare and draw similarities between the accused product and patented technology. I/O testing generally confirms an expected output as the final result using lab equipment. I/O testing results are primarily used to support experts’ inferences in an EoU related to backend processes..
Reverse Engineering - ( Patent Infringement )
Sometimes simple teardowns of products aren’t good enough to explain the workings of a product. Recent development in the massive integration of billions of devices and features in nanoscaled layered components has forced RE to evolve into a specialised niche to support patent licensing activities.
RE plays a crucial role for new entrants in the market/technology space by letting them know what the competitor is doing. Upon reviewing the parts list in manufacturing a product, one can figure out challenging/problematic areas and align research to develop the best possible solution for the challenge/problem.
Our offshore capability to confirm the unauthorised use of complex processes/methods disclosed in semiconductor patents using the cross-sectional analysis/ structural analysis/reverse engineering of the product in question is the last step to generating foolproof evidence of use. Reverse Engineering dramatically helps in understanding the intricacies of a semiconductor by analysing underlying –
- Process– Analyzing the process means de-layering an IC component to understand how the chip was made and what are they made of.
Process analysis usually relies on data relating to cross-section/structure, which is collected using SEM (Scanning electron microscopy), TEM (Transmission electron microscopy) and SCM (Scanning Capacitance Microscopy). To understand the chemical composition of underlying layers -dispersive X-ray spectroscopy or secondary ion mass spectrometry is used. These data are then used to reconstruct and understand the layer-by-layer structure of the component.
- Circuit – Circuit extraction is the most complex part of RE studies. It involves package removal followed by de-layering and imaging of the component to understand how the chip works.
In the semiconductor industry, Circuit Extraction is primarily used for circuit simulation, static timing analysis, signal integrity, power analysis and optimisation, and logic to layout comparison. With devices following Moore’s Law and the introduction of 7nm fabrication technologies, circuit extraction is growing more complex yet exciting and essential to understanding the functioning of multiple modules within a single semiconductor device.
Significant steps involved in Circuit Extraction-
- Package Removal– A variety of acids at various temperatures are used depending on the composition and size of the particular package. These solutions dissolve the packaging material but do not damage the die.
- Device De-layering– It simply means creating a single component sample at each layer and the polysilicon transistor gate level. It accurately strips off each layer, one at a time, while keeping the entire surface planar.
- Imaging & Stitching /Aligning – SEM (Scanning electron microscopy) and TEM (Transmission electron microscopy) are primarily used to take images of IC layers. These images are further stitched/aligned to generate a final appearance for analysis.
- Annotation – Once the data is collated, the actual work of reading back the circuit begins at the annotation stage. The course is redrawn/extracted by taking note of all transistors, capacitors, diodes, and other components, interconnect layers, contacts and vias. Currently, many vendors provide specialised software tools for annotation.
- Analysis – Extracting the circuit from annotated images requires high observation and analytical skills. Experienced analysts carefully analyse sub-circuits to extract courses if visible from the pictures. Analysts use automated extraction software tools for complex systems (digital blocks).
Our Approach – (Patent Infringement Analysis)
Our Patent Attorneys including Patent Agents and Engineers prepare infringement analysis reports by preparing Patent Infringement Claim Charts, Infringement Materials, Evidence of Use Charts, Validity Reassessment, and Damage analysis documents/literature.
With our team of experts, we ensure that:
- Intended value of patent is recognized.
- There are no loose ends left while overlapping subject patent with other claims.
- EoUs and associated Claim charts are straightforward.
- All embodiments are correctly evaluated and nothing is missed with respect to file history analysis.
- Accurate claim interpretation is undertake while rendering infringement opinions.
As per the requirements of the Client, our services include:
- Drafting Infringement Analysis Reports based on detailed Infringement Searches.
- Proposing and Partnering in developing accurate IP strategy based on outcome of Infringement Searches.
- Preparing a list of top players in the technology area related to subject patent and a list of target products, including but not limited to third-party subscriptions, searching company/OEMs websites & other databases.
- Performing hands-on product testing and reverse engineering to establish infringement.
- Providing thorough guidance about clients Patent rights wrt scope of independent claims, changes to be made for a successful grant, and rendering legal opinions wrt a potential patent infringement suit.
- Providing a potential licensee search regarding clients’ Patent portfolio, undertaking SWOT analysis, and strategizing patent acquisitions.