You have acquired a right
What must I pay when I hold a patent?
For the patent to continue to be valid, you will have to pay an annual fee both in Norway and in other countries where you hold a patent. We at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office will only send one payment alert, and this alert applies to the first three years of fees. After that time it may be wise to set up a reminder to yourself. You can do this in our Alert Service, where you can also pay the annual fees. You are responsible for making sure that the annual fees are paid by the deadline every year. We are strict with our payment deadlines, and there is a risk that you might lose the patent if you fail to pay on time.
How can I earn money from the patent?
You can make a financial profit in several ways, the most common of which are:
- a higher price for the product as a result of having a monopoly
- increased value of the company in any merger or sale
- selling the patent, in full or in part
- licensing income from the patent
- improved access to funding from investors and the public sector
- safeguarding market shares by preventing copying
The Norwegian Industrial Property Office does not have any role to play in the commercial use of patents, but you should inform us if ownership of the patent changes or if you enter into licensing agreements.
A licence is an agreement under which you as the patent holder grant to a licensee the right to make, use or sell your patented technology within agreed geographical markets and areas of use. You will usually receive a sum when the agreement is signed, and then a portion of the licensee's annual sales revenue. You continue to hold the patent, and can sign licensing agreements with licensees in one or more markets. It is also possible to make use of each other's patents, under what is known as cross-licensing, to create alliances and increase your own room for manoeuvre.
Pledging your patent
It is possible to pledge patents, patent applications and patent licences in Norway. To secure the mortgage, pledging of the patent must be registered at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. The main purpose of the right to pledge is to make it easier for start-up businesses with no prospect of obtaining cash credit loans, and for other businesses needing funds to develop new ideas, to raise capital by pledging security in their patents, patent applications and licences.
Read more about pledging of patents (link coming)
What if others infringe my rights?
This is a challenging situation, and you should get assistance from a patent agency or a law firm. It is usual first to send a letter to the party you believe is infringing your rights. You will often reach a solution with the other part through negotiation, but sometimes the case has to be settled in court.
To stop the infringement, the courts can quickly issue what is known as an interim injunction. This means that your competitor is ordered to stop production, marketing and sale of the product until the case comes before the court. Settlement through the courts takes a long time, and the court will rule on any compensation. You can request this from the time when the patent application was published. Court cases are heard in each individual country, and if you have to defend the patent in several countries the costs can mount up. In the longer term there will be a joint patent court for many EU Member States.
What if I infringe the rights of others?
If you have infringed on the rights of others, the process is just as challenging as when others infringe your rights. It is most common to reach agreement by negotiation, but there is a risk of you having to pay compensation or enter into a licensing agreement. The process usually begins with you receiving a letter from a patent attorney or lawyer for the opposing party.
You should then obtain the assistance of a professional who can respond to the other party, and in some cases present a counter-claim, or try to have their patent invalidated.
Can others attack your patent?
Anyone can lodge an objection or request administrative review to contest the validity of your patent at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. There is no time limit for requesting administrative review. Link to more information - link coming
There is no "patent police", so as a patent holder you need to be active and safeguard your own patent rights. It is your responsibility to keep track of any infringements on your rights, and if these occur you have to take action yourself. You can use our Alert Service to keep track and be alerted if a competitor submits an application for rights or if something happens in a specific technical field.