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   ** Patent Pending Status?? **
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Ben C
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** Patent Pending Status?? **
« on: Mar 24th, 2004, 3:29pm »
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How can I research a company that states they have "patent pending status" for a couple of their products?
 
If I complete development of a very similar product that other companies already have "patent pending status" for, what are the risks involved (especially when I market my product for sale)?  
 
Are there ways to limit my risk?  Most importantly, can I be sued by companies that have "patent pending status" for very similar products when their patents get approved?  Ie. I finish developing and start selling my product before the competitor company gets the patent approved.
 
Please help.  Thank you in advance.
 
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Isaac
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Re: ** Patent Pending Status?? **
« Reply #1 on: Mar 24th, 2004, 6:17pm »
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Patent pending status means that the company has filed some type of application with the patent office.   It is not possible to research all possible applications.
 
Some applications are published after 18 months or so after filing.  An applicant can elect for non publication if the applicant does not intend to file for a foreign patent.
 
Patent pending can also result from filing a provisional applicaition for patent.  A provisional application is a kind of place holder that reserves a filing date, expires after one year, and does not turn into a patent unless a non provisional application is filed before the provisional expires.   Provisional applications are not available to the public.
 
If the "patent pending" status results in a patent, you may be liable for royalties from the date of publication of the a non provisional patent application.  You would be infringing if you continued to make your product after the patent issues.   This assumes that the patent claims actually read on your invention.  
 
You cannot predict your liability simply by comparing your product to the patent pending product because you don't know what features of the product are covered by the patent.  You have to compare your product to the claims in the patent.
 
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Isaac
M. Arthur Auslander
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Re: ** Patent Pending Status?? **
« Reply #2 on: Mar 26th, 2004, 5:15am »
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Dear Ben,
 
Although there is no public insight with a disclosure by the inventor until an application is published, a disclosure as to the nature of an invention can be searched or even considered and in may instance, it can be clear that while a patent may be obtainable that it CANNOT BE of any value.
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M. Arthur Auslander
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Ben
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Re: ** Patent Pending Status?? **
« Reply #3 on: Mar 29th, 2004, 5:08pm »
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Dear M. Arthur Auslander and Isaac Clark,
 
Is there anywhere that I can find online on the type of patent that my competitor(s) have filed?
 
If my competitor's patent is approved after my product has been completed and sold to the public, will I be liable?  If so, what is usually the average royalty % to be paid to the company or person that holds the patent?
 
Please let me know.  Thank you.
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Isaac
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Re: ** Patent Pending Status?? **
« Reply #4 on: Mar 29th, 2004, 5:15pm »
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If the application is published then it may be available online from the PTO web site.  
 
If we are talking about a provisional application or an application that the applicant has requested not be published then it will not be available online.
 
There may also be applications that will be published, but which have not yet been published.  You cannot have acces to them either.
 
There is no standard royalty fee.  If you do not settle with the applicant a court will entertain evidence of what a fair royalty is.
 
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Isaac
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