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Physical product business: Constant fear of infringement?

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MoreValue

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All I do are extensive google searches to find if anyone is doing anything similar and check if they have patents.

Obviously this method is not 100%, as there could be patents that don’t show up, design patents that are image based and hard to search for, and patents that aren’t apparent on the exterior.

Does everyone designing a product just kinda hope they aren’t infringing on someone else’s a patent. It seems like there is no gurauanteed/practical way to make sure you aren’t infringing on a patent.
 

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Knicks

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All I do are extensive google searches to find if anyone is doing anything similar and check if they have patents.

Obviously this method is not 100%, as there could be patents that don’t show up, design patents that are image based and hard to search for, and patents that aren’t apparent on the exterior.

Does everyone designing a product just kinda hope they aren’t infringing on someone else’s a patent. It seems like there is no gurauanteed/practical way to make sure you aren’t infringing on a patent.
To be somewhat sure and legally protected the only way would be through a lawyer who performs an extensive database search and also helps you with registering a patent.

But in the end I guess there will never be a 100% certainty you're the only one with such product. They call it risk getting into business.

Did you try out the patent and database search by yourself yet? I only can speak for Germany, since I'm operating here - here we can search a centralized database from the DPMA for trademarks, patents and so on.

Hope this helps.
 
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MoreValue

MoreValue

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To be somewhat sure and legally protected the only way would be through a lawyer who performs an extensive database search and also helps you with registering a patent.

But in the end I guess there will never be a 100% certainty you're the only one with such product. They call it risk getting into business.

Did you try out the patent and database search by yourself yet? I only can speak for Germany, since I'm operating here - here we can search a centralized database from the DPMA for trademarks, patents and so on.

Hope this helps.
It does help.

Can you hold a lawyer liable if you paid for a search and then you ended up getting a cease and desist or lawsuit?

Another scenario that would suck if you paid for the search and then right after someone got a patent that you ended up infringing on.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Patents only matter if you can protect them.

Focus on your own business. Don’t even look at competitors beyond what they offer and how you can do it better.
 
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MoreValue

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Patents only matter if you can protect them.

Focus on your own business. Don’t even look at competitors beyond what they offer and how you can do it better.
I am more concerned with patents as a defensive measure, not concerned with litigation at all.

I am not sure if it is 100%, but a getting a patent ensures that I'm not infringing on others yeah? If the patent I was applying for ended up infringing on another patent, my application would get rejected I would assume.

I look at competitors to gauge market place and pretty much fear that I may infringe on others without knowing it.
 

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I am more concerned with patents as a defensive measure, not concerned with litigation at all.

I am not sure if it is 100%, but a getting a patent ensures that I'm not infringing on others yeah? If the patent I was applying for ended up infringing on another patent, my application would get rejected I would assume.

I look at competitors to gauge market place and pretty much fear that I may infringe on others without knowing it.
I wouldn’t spend upwards of $20k for a patent just to make sure I’m not infringing on another patent.

Let’s say you unknowingly infringe on a patent.

Best case: They don’t know/don’t care

Worst case: You get a cease and desist and stop selling for a few months while you alter your product to not infringe.

At some point you gotta hit the gas if you wanna get on the highway.
 
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MoreValue

MoreValue

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I wouldn’t spend upwards of $20k for a patent just to make sure I’m not infringing on another patent.

Let’s say you unknowingly infringe on a patent.

Best case: They don’t know/don’t care

Worst case: You get a cease and desist and stop selling for a few months while you alter your product to not infringe.

At some point you gotta hit the gas if you wanna get on the highway.
I mean isn't the worse case they sue you outright for millions? I don't think a company even needs to do cease and desist. Seems like a courteous thing to save everyone time and headache.
 

Antti

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I mean isn't the worse case they sue you outright for millions? I don't think a company even needs to do cease and desist. Seems like a courteous thing to save everyone time and headache.
For that to happen, you would have to first sell millions worth of that product. Honestly, to me this sounds like a case of analysis paralysis type procrastination. Do your due diligence as well as you can and then either pull the trigger or move on to the next product.

Can you hold a lawyer liable if you paid for a search and then you ended up getting a cease and desist or lawsuit?
Surely not. They know how to cover their a$$.
 
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Bobby_italy

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I wouldn’t spend upwards of $20k for a patent just to make sure I’m not infringing on another patent.

Let’s say you unknowingly infringe on a patent.

Best case: They don’t know/don’t care

Worst case: You get a cease and desist and stop selling for a few months while you alter your product to not infringe.

At some point you gotta hit the gas if you wanna get on the highway.
I don't know where you got this information from but all the ones I know from some friends who have patents that have been infringed they get like x% from all the profits made for life + you pay for the legal work.

I mean sure if it's a kid from his mom basement cease and desist but if it's an actual business ripping you off you're going to go after them and get your piece of cake, two examples where this happened was one an engineer had patented a new kind of mobile scaffold, the other one was some techonlogy related to antennas, they got their exact patented product produced by other companies without permission and they got paid really well for it.

You need one good patent to live off of it, I won't disclose the product but something we've all used at least once in life was patented by a man we worked for, he sold his patent like 30 years ago and in the deal there was like some % he'd still be taking every year, he takes so much that he has actually never worked a day in his life and rn he's enjoying having a dog breeding business which is low stress on the hills out of town.
He never produced his product apart from prototypes he just approached some companies until he found one that believed in his idea and they went through with it.
 

Bobby_italy

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For that to happen, you would have to first sell millions worth of that product. Honestly, to me this sounds like a case of analysis paralysis type procrastination. Do your due diligence as well as you can and then either pull the trigger or move on to the next product.



Surely not. They know how to cover their a$$.
This exactly unless you make millions they won't even notice you and WHEN they notice you, you'll probably have the means to defend yourself and don't go broke and probably install a relationship that benefits both parties involved, remember you'd still be the one selling millions of their patented product.
 

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I don't know where you got this information from but all the ones I know from some friends who have patents that have been infringed they get like x% from all the profits made for life + you pay for the legal work.

I mean sure if it's a kid from his mom basement cease and desist but if it's an actual business ripping you off you're going to go after them and get your piece of cake, two examples where this happened was one an engineer had patented a new kind of mobile scaffold, the other one was some techonlogy related to antennas, they got their exact patented product produced by other companies without permission and they got paid really well for it.

You need one good patent to live off of it, I won't disclose the product but something we've all used at least once in life was patented by a man we worked for, he sold his patent like 30 years ago and in the deal there was like some % he'd still be taking every year, he takes so much that he has actually never worked a day in his life and rn he's enjoying having a dog breeding business which is low stress on the hills out of town.
He never produced his product apart from prototypes he just approached some companies until he found one that believed in his idea and they went through with it.
I meant more of infringing on a single claim or two rather than ripping off the entire product.
 

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MoreValue

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I don't know where you got this information from but all the ones I know from some friends who have patents that have been infringed they get like x% from all the profits made for life + you pay for the legal work.
Even profit after the patent has expired?

So what happens if you license a patent and then it expires. Your royalty just ends right?

I mean sure if it's a kid from his mom basement cease and desist but if it's an actual business ripping you off you're going to go after them and get your piece of cake, two examples where this happened was one an engineer had patented a new kind of mobile scaffold, the other one was some techonlogy related to antennas, they got their exact patented product produced by other companies without permission and they got paid really well for it.
How would a company distinguish just a kid from a company? I am a single man operation, but on the outside I make it look like I’m running a multi man business.

How did the company find out that these other companies were producing these? Meaning how can someone quickly get infringers on their radar? Is it just daily google searching?

You need one good patent to live off of it, I won't disclose the product but something we've all used at least once in life was patented by a man we worked for, he sold his patent like 30 years ago and in the deal there was like some % he'd still be taking every year, he takes so much that he has actually never worked a day in his life and rn he's enjoying having a dog breeding business which is low stress on the hills out of town.
He never produced his product apart from prototypes he just approached some companies until he found one that believed in his idea and they went through with it.
Damn that’s nice! They still pay him royalty after patent expires?
 

Bobby_italy

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Even profit after the patent has expired?

So what happens if you license a patent and then it expires. Your royalty just ends right?



How would a company distinguish just a kid from a company? I am a single man operation, but on the outside I make it look like I’m running a multi man business.

How did the company find out that these other companies were producing these? Meaning how can someone quickly get infringers on their radar? Is it just daily google searching?



Damn that’s nice! They still pay him royalty after patent expires?
I have no idea after it expires or how if he got a deal like “we will use your patent and you’ll get x % of our profits” like there’s been millions of those products made so I guess everyone is happy.

Also we’re talking about someone who was a top engineer in his area of knowledge not some random kid, this is not stuff you can you “invent” without technical preparation.
If you think making it as an entrepreneur is hard making it as an inventor is at least 100x harder I kid you not, those people had a clear gift and see a way to solve problems that wasn’t previously seen by anyone else.

They’re the guy in movies who enjoys solving “math” problems and doesn’t care too much about anything else.

I know one got the payment from profits and the other one got nearly everything upfront before the company started producing.
 
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MoreValue

MoreValue

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I have no idea after it expires or how if he got a deal like “we will use your patent and you’ll get x % of our profits” like there’s been millions of those products made so I guess everyone is happy.

Also we’re talking about someone who was a top engineer in his area of knowledge not some random kid, this is not stuff you can you “invent” without technical preparation.
If you think making it as an entrepreneur is hard making it as an inventor is at least 100x harder I kid you not, those people had a clear gift and see a way to solve problems that wasn’t previously seen by anyone else.

They’re the guy in movies who enjoys solving “math” problems and doesn’t care too much about anything else.

I know one got the payment from profits and the other one got nearly everything upfront before the company started producing.
I always thought that an inventor fell into the category of entrepreneur. Yeah, I’m definitely not going to be mistaken for a kid just building in my garage.

But yeah doing some more searches and really don’t feel any better about my risk of infringement. I realized that you all you have to do is infringe on all the elements of a SINGLE claim. Too easy to infringe. The way they are worded makes it very broad and applies to pretty much everything.

Oh yeah, I’m in US. Not sure if that makes a difference to you.
 

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If building a business for the long term - get a patent and be prepared to defend it.

If you don't own your IP, your business is built on quicksand. Sure, you can move quick, and regularly innovate to stay a step ahead, and you should, but why not make it harder for people to rip you off?

And if you think there's even a chance of infringing on someone else's patent, do all the searches, and I'd contract a patent attorney to help search as well. Would be a huge waste of time, money, and energy to deal with potential litigation down the road, as well as having to re-design the product.

Better to just get it right up front.If you're going to put the time in to design a product, you may as well make sure you don't have to re-do it.
 

Kid

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I am not sure if it is 100%, but a getting a patent ensures that I'm not infringing on others yeah?
Unfortunately no. It only means that at the moment of issuing USPTO think its not infringing and take your word in good faith.

Basically, if you have patent it can have prior art invalidating it, that you or USPTO didn't know about.
Most probably this prior art would be found by someone who wants to invalidate your patent.

That's why prior art search is so expensive in law firms.

Ultimately its up to court to decide if patent is correctly issued.
 
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MoreValue

MoreValue

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Unfortunately no. It only means that at the moment of issuing USPTO think its not infringing and take your word in good faith.

Basically, if you have patent it can have prior art invalidating it, that you or USPTO didn't know about.
Most probably this prior art would be found by someone who wants to invalidate your patent.

That's why prior art search is so expensive in law firms.

Ultimately its up to court to decide if patent is correctly issued.
During the the whole time your are selling at “patent-pending” state, you could actually be selling infringing design then...sigh. Does the USPTO notify that patent holder?

So you are saying other similar patent holders are notified of Your application to file?
 

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