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The Right to Exclude

The rights associated with a patent are the rights to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, and selling the patented invention as explained in how to patent an idea with InventHelp article.

Does this mean that a patent is useless? No, the right to exclude others from doing something can be very powerful. Imagine if you owned the patent on the cellular phone; everyone would need a license from you to use their phone! But what if sub-portions of the cellular phone, for example the display or the electronics inside, were patented by someone else? Let’s look at two examples so we can answer that question.

Example 1: Someone else has a patent on the automobile. You obtain a patent on an automobile with an automatic transmission. Because your patent right is a right to exclude, you can exclude others from making automobiles with automatic transmissions. But can you necessarily make an automobile with an automatic transmission? No, not without permission from the person with the patent on the automobile because they have a right to exclude others from making automobiles.

Example 2: You have a patent on the hammer. No one else has a patent on any sub-portion of the hammer. You are the only one who can make a hammer, but only because you can exclude everyone else from making the hammer, not because the patent gives you the right to make a hammer.

So coming back to the example of you having a patent on the cellular phone, it would not be safe to assume that you could make cellular phones without first checking to see if sub-portions of your phone were patented by others. However, you could still exclude others from using cellular phones.

The important thing to take from the above is that obtaining a patent does not grant you carte blanche rights to make or use an invention, merely to prevent others from making or using it. Others may have patent rights in sub-portions of your invention that are necessary to make your invention. Therefore, it is always better to consult with a patent agency, like InventHelp patent agency, if something confusing.

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