Vancouver, WA asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Washington

Q: How do I tell if my competitor has a patent and what that patent entails?

I am looking to find if company "" Has a patent on the idea, and if so, what the patent entails so that I can maybe play around and see what possibilities I may have for this business.

1 Lawyer Answer
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Moorestown, NJ

A: How do you tell? It is not easy to do so without hiring a professional to do it, but here are some steps that you can take yourself.

(1) Products need to have some sort of patent markings to give notice to potential infringers. With software, take a look at their website, at the shrink wrap agreement, etc.

(2) Go to their website, look at their terms page, or policy page, etc., such as . There you’ll find the name of the company who owns the rights to that site. Then, you can go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s patent assignment search page, at: .

(3) If you don’t find anything, then it is possible that either the business decided not to use patents, or they are held by someone else, or they are still in process of getting a patent.

Good luck!

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