To optimize and maintain patent rights, a patent owner must take further steps:
Patent registrations are public. So, be prepared for people soliciting you with official-looking requests for payment of fees. Almost all of these are spam or fraudulent. Speak to your patent attorney if you have any concerns.
Patented products should be properly marked. Patent marking notifies others that a product is patented (or patent pending) by actually inscribing it on the product. Marking not only deters potential infringers, but it provides actual or constructive notice of patenting—necessary for collection of damages from infringers.
For products with issued patents, this is properly done by inscribing, for example, “Patent 1,234,567” or “Pat. 1,234,567” (whatever the patent number is) on the actual product. Putting the patent number on the actual product is important—only in rare exceptions should the marking be done on the packaging instead of the actual product, although it can always be additionally done on packaging. For products with patents pending (e.G., provisional patent applications), “Pat. Pending” or “Patent pending” is written.
“Virtual marking” is a viable alternative to actual marking. In virtual marking, “Patent” or “Pat.” is written on the product, followed by an internet address where one can find both the product and the full patent number for it.
Businesses should be careful to avoid false marking—saying something is patented when it is not. This can give rise to liability.
Gov’t fees (for utility, not design patents).
Patent rights are conditional, exclusive rights granted by the government. One of the conditions of this grant that applies to utility patents is the payment of periodic maintenance fees. These fees are due at three (3), seven (7), and eleven (11) year increments following the date that the patent issued. See here for details. Project CIP prepares and files maintenance fees for clients upon request.
Project CIP is happy to assist you with any questions or concerns regarding your patent.