Q: I have a ramp from a pinball machine that was made by data east. The plastic ramp is broken.
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. Will I be infringing on any rights since they closed in 2003? I have looked over existing patents and trademarks and don’t see anything that would prevent me from doing it. Thank you
A: 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 item. You do not sound anywhere close to that threshold.
If you found this answer helpful, you may want to look at my answers to other questions about patent law are available at the bottom of my profile page at https://lawyers.justia.com/lawyer/kevin-e-flynn-880338
Kevin E Flynn
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