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What Is a Field of Use?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 08 August 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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For those who hold patents to intellectual property, the term field of use may be familiar, since it serves the purpose of greatly restricting the manner in which such intellectual property may be utilized by others who may have been granted some form of limited permission to utilize the intellectual property in a clearly stated manner. This field of use is a really important concept that helps those who may have developed certain intellectual products the ability or means for retaining more control over their own work even if they allow certain people or entities to use the intellectual property for clearly delineated purposes. The field of use is usually stipulated within any contractual agreement between the owner of the intellectual property and the person or entity seeking to make use of such property and may be worded to different effects.

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One of the reasons for the inclusion of a clause specifying a field of use within an agreement with the owner of an intellectual property is usually to allow the owner to specify the exact area of the intellectual property that a person or entity may use. The owner might only permit the person or business entity seeking to obtain the field of use to use only one aspect of the intellectual property, while the owner of the license retains the right to do as he or she pleases with the other uses of such intellectual property. This can often be seen in the area of technological intellectual property in which one type of technology that has been developed for a particular purpose may be also used in other types of ways.

When this is the case, the individual or company that owns the intellectual property might decide to allow other individuals or companies to make use of the technology for different purposes. In this case, the importance of the field of use would be to clearly state the particular purpose for which the company may use the intellectual property, since the owner would not want whoever has been granted the permission to use the intellectual property to use it limitlessly. Aside from the fact that the inclusion of the field of use will limit the ways in which a person can use the intellectual property, it will also allow the owner of the intellectual property to go ahead and grant other interested parties the right to utilize the same intellectual property for uses other than that previously granted.

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