Réforme US: Changement intéressant à la loi sur le marquage pour les brevets aux États-Unis

L’article 35USC287(a) qui lisait auparavant comme:

35 U.S.C. 287 Limitation on damages and other remedies; marking and notice.

(a) Patentees, and persons making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States any patented article for or under them, or importing any patented article into the United States, may give notice to the public that the same is patented, either by fixing thereon the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.”, together with the number of the patent, or when, from the character of the article, this cannot be done, by fixing to it, or to the package wherein one or more of them is contained, a label containing a like notice. In the event of failure so to mark, no damages shall be recovered by the patentee in any action for infringement, except on proof that the infringer was notified of the infringement and continued to infringe thereafter, in which event damages may be recovered only for infringement occurring after such notice. Filing of an action for infringement shall constitute such notice.

Se lira bientôt comme suit, pour permettre un marquage “virtuel”:

35 U.S.C. 287 Limitation on damages and other remedies; marking and notice.

(a) Patentees, and persons making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States any patented article for or under them, or importing any patented article into the United States, may give notice to the public that the same is patented, either by fixing thereon the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.”, together with the number of the patent, or by fixing thereon the word ‘patent’ or the abbreviation ‘pat.’ together with an  address of a posting on the Internet, accessible to the public without charge for accessing the address, that associates the patented article with the numberof the patent, or when, from the character of the article, this cannot be done, by fixing to it, or to the package wherein one or more of them is contained, a label containing a like notice. In the event of failure so to mark, no damages shall be recovered by the patentee in any action for infringement, except on proof that the infringer was notified of the infringement and continued to infringe thereafter, in which event damages may be recovered only for infringement occurring after such notice. Filing of an action for infringement shall constitute such notice.

Cet amendement entrera en vigueur lors de la signature du projet de loi de réforme par le président Obama d’ici quelques jours.

Ainsi, il serait probablement possible d’inclure un avis du type (au moins pour les Etats-Unis) pour couvrir les brevets en instance et les brevets une fois émis et minimiser les changements de marquage:

“This product may be covered by one or more pending or issued patents, including patent: http://companyABC/patents

Voici un article de revue de droit qui analyse cette modification:

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/lawreview/v105/n1/367/LR105n1McCaffrey.pdf

Voici un exemple de site web avec des listes de brevets:

http://www.callawaygolf.com/Global/en-US/Legal/CallawayGolfPatents.html

Il reste à voir si le libellé: “Patent: http://companyABC/patents” pour une simple demande en instance “patent pending” serait acceptable, si le site web mentionne que la demande est simplement en instance. Je n’ai pas vu de référence à ce sujet, mais un tel marquage serait utile pour les gens qui doivent apposer des avis sur leurs produits et qui veulent minimiser les changements par la suite. Je suis d’avis qu’une telle pratique respecterait l’esprit de la loi US, surtout si le site peut pointer vers des brevets qui deviennent éventuellement expirés.

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