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 Help! I found a patent similiar to my idea

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PostSubject: Help! I found a patent similiar to my idea   Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:43 pm

What are my options, if I find a patent application that is similiar to my invention?
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Bill Goldblatt

Bill Goldblatt

PostSubject: Re: Help! I found a patent similiar to my idea   Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:16 pm

A good place to start is determining whether a.) you would be infringing this patent once it hypothetically issued with similar claims, b.) whether you could design around the claims, c.) whether you would want to bother, d.) whether this patent app would block patentability.

There are many factors at play, perhaps none moreso than your objectives, which are unknown here. But if this patent app doesn't stop you in your tracks, do continue to find more prior art, don't stop searching...

For determining infringement: It can be complicated, but if a patent claim includes element A + element B + element C, and your invention contains all three elements, then generally that means you would be infringing. If any of the elements were missing, you would not be infringing that particular claim.

For determining patentability: Your invention must still be considered novel and "non-obvious" in light of any prior art. The laws/regulations governing non-obviousness contain grey area - there is no real clearcut definition for what is "obvious," but you can often get an idea just by conducting common sense analysis.

- Bill
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