Q: THis company Simple Wishes seems to have patents on a pumping/nursing bra, yet so many companies make these??
I just don't understand how they can have a patent for something that multiple other companies make and sell?
A: Many companies have patents on aspects of how a laptop computer works. Many companies make laptops. Some have licenses from other companies to use certain patents.
Frequently a patent covers claims for a particular improvement to a product. That patent issues and only those with legal rights to use that patent (ownership, license rights, other rights such as shop rights) have the legal right to use the innovation covered by the claims in that patent as long as that patent stays in effect. Once the patent expires, lapses, or has the relevant claims invalidated, then others can use that innovation.
A new patent does not preclude people from making the old product or from making the old product with some innovation that is different from the newly claimed innovation.
If you are looking to make a pumping/nursing bra, then you need to talk with a patent attorney about freedom-to-operate searches and maybe some design around revisions to your proposed product. See these web pages for introductions to these concepts. https://www.flynniplaw.com/services/legal-services/143-freedom-to-operate https://www.flynniplaw.com/services/legal-services/freedom-to-operate/design-around-guidance .
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
Kevin E Flynn
Kathryn Perales agrees with this answer
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