What are the defenses to patent infringement?
In a patent infringement law suit the party being sued for infringement may take certain defenses to avoid being penalized by the Courts. The first line of defense is to claim that the activity of the respondent does not violate the patent rights of the complainant. This may be achieved by proper construction of the claims of the complainant’s patent and proving that the respondent’s activity is not covered under the claims scope. The next defense that a respondent can raise is by counterclaiming that the patent is invalid due to existing prior art. For this purpose relevant prior art may be cited to indicate that a patent should not have been granted to the complainant in the first place. In addition to the two aforementioned defenses the respondent may claim inequitable conduct on part of the complainant. Inequitable conduct, once proved, results in invalidation of the patent itself.nOther defenses include research exemptions, government use, parallel importation and so on.n