Enforcement of property rights
Despite all the knowledge about the products and property rights of competitors and care taken in advance with the research into and analysis of one’s own freedom to operate, infringements of property rights occur, or, indeed are knowingly risked or intentionally committed.
When this happens, this is where the true value of a property right first becomes apparent – in particular, the extent of its ‘scope of protection’, which with patents and utility models is justified through the claims, with trademarks through the link between identifying mark and list of goods or services and, with design patents through those elements of the outward form of a design patent which are visibly reproduced in the application.
The scope of protection is not, in fact, defined absolutely in each case; rather one must check, from case to case, whether the supposed infringing object falls within the scope of protection of the claims or similar.
This is where, in the infringement proceedings, which are part of ordinary jurisdiction and hence reserved for a lawyer, the technical and property right-related expertise of a patent attorney comes into play; they can be called upon to assess the property right infringement. In the process the scope of the protection in relation to the supposed infringing object is determined and this result incorporated into the proceedings.