2013年8月7日 星期三

Virtual Patent Marking(虛擬專利標示)

「專利標示」是一個義務,也是一個權利,對於產品保護與損害賠償是個重要措施。

中華民國專利法第九十八條有規定:
專利物上應標示專利證書號數;不能於專利物上標示者,得於標籤、包裝或以其他足以引起他人認識之顯著方式標示之;其未附加標示者,於請求損害賠償時,應舉證證明侵害人明知或可得而知為專利物。

這句話表示,專利標示為一個規定,更指的是,一個物品上是否有標示專利證書號數涉及損害賠償的主張。

美國專利法第287條規範了損害賠償的限制,也關聯了專利標示
35 U.S.C. 287, Limitation on damages and other remedies; marking and notice

其中對於損害賠償的判斷有提到:在錯誤標示的情況下,專利權人不得主張侵權賠償,除非可以證明侵權者已經被告知(因此涉及警告信的必要),並且告知之後仍持續有侵權行為(包括製造、銷售、授意、進口等)。
[英文]
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.

在美國專利改革法第16段也記載了專利標示的規定:
Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, Section 16. Marking

其中特別允許「虛擬標示」,就是透過網際網路可以取得相關產品的專利標示,為實體物品專利標示的另一選擇。


虛擬標示
所謂的虛擬標示(virtual marking),就是指專利權人除了應於產品上標示專利編號外,更可用網頁標示的方式取代標示在產品上的方式,此種方式更方便、便宜(不用標籤)、快速更新(避免錯誤標示)、彈性(不受限產品或包裝外觀)。

舉例來說,如果顧及產品外觀或是設計上的限制,常常不容意標示專利號碼,因此可以用虛擬標示的方式標註在產品網頁上;另外,軟體、製程涉及的專利更是,如:


順便提一下錯誤標示(false marking)的規定,在美國專利法第292條,其中(b)(c)段為改革法案(AIA)新增:

錯誤的專利標示(包括偽造與假冒)會讓人錯誤地被告知自己(在美國國土)所製造、使用、 銷售、授意銷售、進口的物品有侵權疑慮,等於是欺騙大眾;若原本標示專利申請中(patent applied for, patent pending等),但是卻沒有取得或是已經拋棄,則可能也造成欺騙大眾的事實,此類每一個犯罪行為(every such offense)罰款不超過500美元。(行政上)

因為上述錯誤標示而造成損害,應提出民事訴訟求償;如果標示的專利已經過期並不違反美國專利法。(但不知是否有其他問題)

[英文]
35 U.S.C. 292 False marking.
(a) Whoever, without the consent of the patentee, marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with anything made, used, offered for sale, or sold by such person within the United States, or imported by the person into the United States, the name or any imitation of the name of the patentee, the patent number, or the words "patent," "patentee," or the like, with the intent of counterfeiting or imitating the mark of the patentee, or of deceiving the public and inducing them to believe that the thing was made, offered for sale, sold, or imported into the United States by or with the consent of the patentee; or Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any unpatented article the word "patent" or any word or number importing the same is patented, for the purpose of deceiving the public; or Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any article the words "patent applied for," "patent pending," or any word importing that an application for patent has been made, when no application for patent has been made, or if made, is not pending, for the purpose of deceiving the public - Shall be fined not more than $500 for every such offense. Only the United States may sue for the penalty authorized by this subsection.
(b) A person who has suffered a competitive injury as a result of a violation of this section may file a civil action in a district court of the United States for recovery of damages adequate to compensate for the injury.
(c) The marking of a product, in a manner described in subsection (a), with matter relating to a patent that covered that product but has expired is not a violation of this section.



Ron
資料參考:bitlaw、各產品網頁、http://www.law.northwestern.edu/lawreview/v105/n1/367/LR105n1McCaffrey.pdf
有空再去瞭解其他重要國家的相關問題。

1 則留言:

Sam Huang 提到...

一般來說
法條有訓示性規定跟強行禁止規定
要看立法目的等各種解釋方式
多年前
王美花曾公開談論沒有標示專利號碼的商品不得請求專利被侵權後的損害賠償
被罵翻
所以這一條並不如字義上所記載的那麼強大