EuropeEnforcing legal claims over manufacturing processes

A patent allows a patentee to prohibit others from commercially exploiting its invention, as defined by the patent claims. When a patentee wishes to exercise this right, it must first establish that the alleged infringer is in fact commercially exploiting a product or process that falls within the scope of protection. This may sound straightforward, but what if the alleged infringer is using an apparatus or a process in secret? In that case, the patentee can prove that a process is being used only by (illegally) acquiring access to the alleged infringer’s premises or by violating its trade secrets. Given this, what options are available for patentees to safeguard their rights?

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