I do not know the rules in South Africa. Software can be patented in the United States but normally the patent is on how the software makes the computer or related equipment do their jobs better. A new digital file type may fall under this category.
It is possible that the product you are looking at is not covered by a current patent.
The best place to start is with the product itself and the packaging that comes with the product. There is an incentive to mark the patent number on the product or at least a web page address that...Read more »
Your question which seems narrow is actually at the heart of patent claim interpretation. In the United States, there is a hierarchy of sources for answering this question. The highest tier is what the applicant expressly wrote in the application or in the written record of arguments made to the...Read more »
I was looking to make another ramp or have one made and I don’t want to infringe on any patents. This plastic ramp has no mechanisms, no moving parts and is literally just a piece of plastic. There are mechanisms that attach to the ramp but I am not making any of those. Just the plastic ramp.... Read more »
You should be OK as long as this piece is not special and does not have a patent just on that piece. A person that has purchased a patented item can make repairs. There is a limit and you cannot do such massive repairs to a totally worn out item that you are effectively replacing the original...Read more »
This does not sound like a fit for the patent system.
35 USC 101
Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and...Read more »
A patent only applies in the country or regional group that issued the patent. A patent applies to things made in that country and to things brought into that country. If a product is created outside the US and never enters the US, then a US patent is not relevant.
What happens if patent holders allow other competing products on the market that conflict with an existing patent(s)? How many years can thes competitive products be allowed on the market before the Patent becomes unenforceable?
A UK patent is a UK patent. There is not yet an EU patent. You can get your patent application examined by the European Patent Office so you only have to do that work once, but the allowed EPO claims are then validated in individual EPO countries such as the UK. So one patent application may end...Read more »
Your question as conveyed did not include the patent number. But you said design. If the patent is a design patent, (rather than the more common utility patent), then that is normally pretty narrow coverage to keep someone from selling a product that looks confusingly similar to the patented...Read more »
Or is a red flag to Examiners so try to avoid it. Sometimes you cannot.
Not sure where you are getting the verbiage "or combination thereof" . That is not a standard way to write a claim. A quick search of US patents found many thousands with the word "combination" in the claims. But...Read more »
A good place to start is to look at patents for analogous products. That will help you understand what is already patented and how much effort it takes to secure a patent. My slides at http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching will give you some tips on patent searching using free tools.
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