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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   Patent protection clarity please
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   Author  Topic: Patent protection clarity please  (Read 2276 times)
JSonnabend
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Re: Patent protection clarity please
« Reply #10 on: Jan 25th, 2005, 8:19am »
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I'm not sure what you mean by "major claims", but you need to avoid every claim to avoid infringement.  If you infringe even a single claim, you infringe the patent.
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SonnabendLaw
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Richard
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Re: Patent protection clarity please
« Reply #11 on: Jan 25th, 2005, 7:57pm »
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I guess I don't understand how anything at all could be manufactured and sold without infringement upon someone else’s claims.  Here's a good example.  I looked at the bottom of my computer mouse and there is a patent number.  If having to avoid all claims is necessary in order to avoid infringement then how come there are so many other patents given to these different manufactures that produce and sell the same shape and serve the same functions as my mouse?   They sell their product.  Does this mean the competition that makes this same mouse has to make agreements (license) with all of the other couple of dozen or so patent holders of this item before he can sell?
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Wiscagent
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Re: Patent protection clarity please
« Reply #12 on: Jan 26th, 2005, 8:39am »
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Using your example, if you want to sell a computer mouse and avoid patent issues, there is an easy way to do it.  Find a mouse that was on sale 17 years ago and start selling identical copies (this ignores trademark issues).  It is very unlikely that any mouse that was sold 1988 would infringe any patents currently in force.
 
On the other hand, if you want to incorporate some newer features, you can either: (a) hire a patent attorney to study the relevant patent art and report back to you what patents you may be infringing, then decide whether to design around or to negotiate a license; or (b) you can go ahead, sell the mouse and see if anyone sues you.
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Richard Tanzer
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JSonnabend
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Re: Patent protection clarity please
« Reply #13 on: Jan 26th, 2005, 12:25pm »
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While everything Wiscagent said is true, I think the better answer is simply: without reading the patent, you don't know what it covers.  Just because a mouse is marked as patented, to use your example, doesn't mean that all aspects of the mouse are covered by the patent.  Usually, the patented portion is something much narrower than the whole product.
 
Having "the same shape and serv[ing] the same functions" in some general sense is meaningless in the patent context.
 
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SonnabendLaw
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JSonnabend@SonnabendLaw.com
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