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Is it Patentable?
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   Is it Patentable?
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Lex
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Is it Patentable?
« on: Oct 4th, 2006, 12:41pm »
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Hello,
 
I have the plans to build a product which is very similar almost identical to a product already patented and being sold in the US, im in the UK can i patent it for the UK?
 
If i cant patent it can i build and sell the product freely since there is no patent currently for this product in the UK?
 
Thank You!
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Bill Richards
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Re: Is it Patentable?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 4th, 2006, 3:01pm »
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If the product is not patented in the UK, you can probably build and sell it in the UK.  However, depending upon when it was filed, it may be pending in the UK .  Then, when it issues in the UK, you could infringe.
If you, yourself, did not invent the product, you most certainly cannot patent it, UK or anywhere.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
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Lex
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Re: Is it Patentable?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 4th, 2006, 3:32pm »
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Thanks alot Bill!
 
Can anyone backup Bills answer that i can build and sell it in the UK?
 
Just a confirmation would be nice.
 
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JimIvey
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Re: Is it Patentable?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 4th, 2006, 5:02pm »
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Bill's right that US patents are not enforceable in UK (unless you're making the stuff there to ship here -- then maybe).  The only thing that can stop you is a UK patent or an EPO patent which designates the UK.
 
If the product has been sold and patented, it's too late to file an application in the UK or the EPO, for anybody.  However, as Bill wrote, an application can be pending in the UK or EPO.
 
I can help take you just a little further.  Take a look at when the US patent was filed (as an application) -- should be on the front of the patent.  If it was more than 18 months ago, any pending applications should be public.  
 
You can go here and search based on priority document, that would be the serial number of the US application.  That should tell you about any pending applications you'd need to worry about.
 
One last thing to consider: maybe the US application is based on another application filed elsewhere.  You'd find that information under "priority information" on the US patent.  You could then use that for priority information in searching at that link.
 
If you do all that and find that the US application was filed much more than 18 months ago and there are no published corresponding applications in the UK or EPO, then chances are pretty good that you won't ever have to worry about that patent in the UK.
 
Now, the bad news.  That doesn't mean there aren't other patents/applications in the UK/EPO that you might infringe.
 
Regards.
 
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James D. Ivey
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Lex
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Re: Is it Patentable?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 5th, 2006, 5:04am »
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Thanks Jim,
 
One of the patents is approved and one is still pending.
 
However im not sure the pending patent is valid since the company has had a website for 5 years selling the item which they want a patent for, wouldnt this invalidate the patent and any attempts at patenting it in the UK?
 
The company with the patent already approved filed it in 2002 so i should be safe according to your information that they havent got a pending UK EPO or Patent.
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