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Modify/Improve a Patented Item

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pamaboy

New Contributor
Jan 19, 2021
3
1
11
Hi all,

I'm finishing up reading UNSCRIPTED at the moment (it's been an amazing journey through every page) and have some questions in Chapter 35. Here, MJ explains 13 ways of finding the 'fastline' ideas. #13 discusses improvement (and removement) opportunities. I've had a couple of ideas on improving some items in the past, but was very hesitant to pursue the idea because I was not sure how I find out if the modifications that I'm thinking of is an infringement of the patented items.

What really defines a patent infringement and how much modification is needed to avoid it? I hate the idea of giving up a modification thought just because I'm scared of a patent infringement, but at the same time, I don't want to violate anything (ha).

Any inputs are welcome. Thanks in advance! :)
 

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TheKingOfMadrid

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Dec 14, 2020
66
184
133
You need to look at the patent and see exactly what it covers. They can be very broad as in application or they can be quite specific as in design. You can usually search for the patent through the various online resource portals.

A product based angel investor worth their salt would have a rough guess too, if you can find one with enough time to help you.
 

pamaboy

New Contributor
Jan 19, 2021
3
1
11
You need to look at the patent and see exactly what it covers. They can be very broad as in application or they can be quite specific as in design. You can usually search for the patent through the various online resource portals.

A product based angel investor worth their salt would have a rough guess too, if you can find one with enough time to help you.
Thanks for the response! The thing is, so many patents are very vague and as you mentioned, covers the application which makes any modification difficult without impacting the patent itself. I guess cleanest way would be to not deal with patented items in the first place. (But it seems like every little thing in the world is patented in this era lol)
 

TheKingOfMadrid

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Dec 14, 2020
66
184
133
Thanks for the response! The thing is, so many patents are very vague and as you mentioned, covers the application which makes any modification difficult without impacting the patent itself. I guess cleanest way would be to not deal with patented items in the first place. (But it seems like every little thing in the world is patented in this era lol)
Yes and often purposely so the ambiguity may be used against competition later on.

But I think if you really majorly altered a product in both design and function and had a cheap prototype, people would be willing to help you more with the patent stuff.

There can be quite a few variables when it comes to patents.
 

pamaboy

New Contributor
Jan 19, 2021
3
1
11
Yes and often purposely so the ambiguity may be used against competition later on.

But I think if you really majorly altered a product in both design and function and had a cheap prototype, people would be willing to help you more with the patent stuff.

There can be quite a few variables when it comes to patents.
Got it, thank you for the valuable input! :)
 

BrianLateStart

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2019
94
164
136
Horseheads, NY
As mentioned it's difficult to find out how well it's protected unless you have someone very familiar with patents look it over. Even if your expert decides that you can make your modification a certain way and it won't violate the patent, the patent owner may disagree and you could be in for an expensive battle to prove it doesn't violate it.

Patents are expensive and you have to patent it in every country you want it protected. is it worth it to enter it in a market in another country where the patent isn't covered?
 

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