Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Ohio

Q: I want to make portals is there anyway I can legally do this considering patent number 10479156

I believe this patent is for a gear driven portal and the case is one machined piece the product I want to sell is chain driven and the case is made of multiple pieces welded together can I legally sell this

2 Lawyer Answers
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Greenville, SC

A: A U.S. patent owner has the right to stop others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing a product that infringes any claim of the patent. (Claims are the numbered paragraphs found at the end of the patent.)

The answer to your question would depend on whether any of the claims "read on" the intended product.

To properly assess whether the product might infringe one of the claims, the meaning of the claim terms have to be "construed" from the patent specification and drawings and the "prosecution" history of the patent. Related patent applications, if any, can also affect claim term meanings.

Once the claim meanings have been determined, the claims are compared to the product to see if each and every element of at least one claim (or its substantial equivalent) is found in the product. If so, then the product would infringe that claim.

A word of caution about "equivalents" - a case that is made from multiple welded pieces might be found equivalent to a single machined case. Similarly, a chain driven portal might be equivalent to a gear driven portal.

A patent attorney would have to evaluate the patent, its claims, the patent file history, related applications (if any), and your intended product to help you make an informed decision.

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Pittsboro, NC

A: Infringement requires that your product have every element (noun, verb, relationship) that is set forth in at least one issued claim.

10479156 has as claim 1

1. A portal hub assembly comprising:

a portal box;

an input opening in said portal box configured to receive an input shaft;

an output opening in said portal box configured to receive an output shaft, wherein said output opening is vertically displaced from said input opening;

a mounting assembly removably attachable to a side of said portal box, wherein said mounting assembly comprises a mounting body forged as a unitary body having a deformed grain structure due to forging, wherein one side of said mounting body includes a plurality of elongated ribs that are unitarily forged with said mounting body, and wherein the one side of said mounting body defines a generally flat partition;

a bracket system comprising at least one mounting bracket adapted to receive a component from a particular vehicle model suspension system, wherein the at least one mounting bracket defines a mounting body surface that abuts the generally flat partition; and

wherein said bracket system is selectively affixed to said mounting body to configure said mounting assembly to receive the component from the particular vehicle model suspension system.

You would need to talk with a patent attorney to see whether your proposed product has all of these items. You would repeat that process for each independent claim. Sometimes a phrase may have a quirky meaning unique to that patent. So the discussion of the disclosure in the patent and the discussions about the claims with the examiner all impact how phrases within the issued claims are interpreted.

Many times people are concerned about a patent based on the title or the drawings. The only thing you can infringe is a claim so the focus must be on the claims.

Get competent help. I hope that my comments were helpful.

Kevin E Flynn

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