Intellectual property infringement refers to violation of an intellectual property right. There are different types of intellectual property rights. They are patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Intellectual property infringement can therefore be patent infringement, copyright infringement or trademark infringement. Section 271 of the manual of patent examining procedure (MPEP) deals with the infringement of patents and states that “whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefore, infringes the patent”. Since patents are territorial, infringement is only possible in a country where a patent has been filed and if the patent is active.
The process of testing whether a product, method or service infringes a patent differs from country to country. In general if the product or method or service falls within one or more claims of the patent, then the product or method or service infringes the patent. If any element of the product or method or service is novel and the patent does not claim that element then the product or method or service does not infringe on the patent. In case of an infringement, if a company wants to market the product, method or service, then the company has to obtain a license from the patent holder.