Oakland, CA asked in Products Liability for California

Q: I'm an industrial designer, I created an espresso machine. Where do I start to approve it legally for sale?

I am currently choosing a path for the final architecture and assembly of the espresso machine design. I want to know more about the hoops that are required to approve such a product for sale. The pain points likely coming down to electrical components (outlet, power switch, heating element, temperature circuit, overheating protection) but also general risks you could experience from an espresso machine (burns from hot surfaces, steam, or boiling water, food safe materials). I am curious what factors would influence the process. IE, would manufacturing 10 units have the same guidlines as 300 units? Or would sourcing a boiler from another machine cut down on approval costs?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered
  • Products Liability Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: It doesn't seem likely that a product liability attorney (the category where this is posted) would be equipped to address the issues you raise. They are more regulatory, administrative, and commercial in nature, while product liability attorneys deal more with tort law, essentially injuries resulting from dangerous or defective products. You could try reposting in other categories - as the question remains open for a week, or actively seek out attorneys (through this site, through your own searches, or through the State Bar of California). Many of the points you raise are complex and open-ended and might lend themselves out more to a thorough consult than a quick general response on a Question and Answer board. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Products Liability Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: I don't believe you need to have it approved for sale. However, if you want UL certification that has a process that you would have to consult with Underwriters' Labs for.

Your bigger question might be can you get liability insurance; will you have adequate warnings etc-- I assume for this you've looked at other models. What do they have (as they come from the box) that yours does not?

You would also want to consider patent protection if you have new "art" that you have created otherwise, also be aware of the possibility of patent infringement.

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