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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   Patents pending?
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   Author  Topic: Patents pending?  (Read 1038 times)
iputty
Guest
Patents pending?
« on: Jan 2nd, 2008, 1:28am »
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I've got an idea that is one of those that you look at and say "now why didn't I think of that". I'd equate it to the sleeve that places like Starbucks put around your coffee cups. I've searched for patents and found nothing close to what I'm thinking. On a web search I did find one product that is similar and says patents pending.
 
What exactly does that mean? What limits does that place on me?
 
TIA.
IP Logged
Wiscagent
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Posts: 843
Re: Patents pending?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 2nd, 2008, 9:30am »
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"Patent pending" just means that a patent application has been filed for some aspect of the gadget.
 
Unless the patent application has published, you have no way of knowing what the application claims.  You also have no way of knowing if or when a patent will grant or what the patent will claim.
 
So, at this time the patent application does not limit what you can do.  If you were to make or sell the gadget, and it turns out that your gadget is (eventually) claimed in the issued patent, then you might be liable for "reasonable royalties" starting from when the application published.
 
If you are planning to make or sell the gadget, you might want to consult with an attorney, ask about the advantages and disadvantages of having a professional search conducted, and having a freedom to operate opinion drafted.  In some situations you are better off NOT knowing what patents claim your gadget.
« Last Edit: Jan 2nd, 2008, 11:21am by Wiscagent » IP Logged

Richard Tanzer
Patent Agent
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