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   Can I build my own widget?
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   Author  Topic: Can I build my own widget?  (Read 964 times)
leupi
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Can I build my own widget?
« on: Dec 20th, 2007, 3:06pm »
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If I see that someone just invented and patented a widget and I can look at it and see how it was built, can I build my own for my own personal use without infringing on his patent?
 
Would it matter if this widget is a real concrete item or if it was software (a piece of code perhaps)?
 
Thanks,
Todd
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Wiscagent
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Re: Can I build my own widget?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 20th, 2007, 7:55pm »
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The fact that the widget is for your personal use is irrelevant.  
 
On the on the other hand, assuming that the widget does infringe, is the owner of the patent likely to find out?  If the owner of the patent does find out, is the owner likely to sue you?  If the owner successfully sues you, how much would "reasonable royalties and damages" (X3) be?
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Richard Tanzer
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JSonnabend
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Re: Can I build my own widget?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 21st, 2007, 9:22am »
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on Dec 20th, 2007, 7:55pm, Wiscagent wrote:
The fact that the widget is for your personal use is irrelevant.  
 
On the on the other hand, assuming that the widget does infringe, is the owner of the patent likely to find out?  If the owner of the patent does find out, is the owner likely to sue you?  If the owner successfully sues you, how much would "reasonable royalties and damages" (X3) be?

On the other hand, if the patented product is sufficiently valuable and publicly used, the patent owner might sue, knowing that the infringer in this scenario is likely going to be footing the patent owner's legal bills as well as damages.
 
- Jeff
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SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Brooklyn, USA
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JSonnabend@SonnabendLaw.com
Wiscagent
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Re: Can I build my own widget?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 21st, 2007, 10:58am »
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I agree Jeff.  That's why I posted a series of questions rather than suggest a course of action.
 
If the gadget is an improved can opener - market value $3 - that will only be used in the infringer's home; the situation is very different than if the gadget is a diagnostic medical device - market value $20 million - publicly used in a North Carolina medical center.
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Richard Tanzer
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