Spokane, WA asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Products Liability for Washington

Q: So I am starting a drop shipping company and have found various products infringing on patents on Amazon. Is this ok?

I am wanting to sell a glow in the dark dog leash but there is a patent, however I have found various ones on Amazon infringing on the patent because they are not the same product just extremely similar so can I sale the leash myself?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Oberlin, OH

A: You should not sell any products that infringe on valid US patents. Figuring out whether or not the product you want to sell infringes on a given patent is sometimes a tricky thing to figure out.

Though I haven't read the patent you're referring to, I think it unlikely that it would cover every glow-in-the-dark dog leash. You should take a look at the claims in the patent document, to find out what is really protected by the patent. Then compare the claims with the product you want to sell, to see if your product is really infringing. If it's not covered by the claims, then you can sell it.

Keep in mind that some patent holders may overstate their patent rights, and send you or your website host a take-down notice or sue you even if they wouldn't prevail in the end.

Best to enlist the help of a patent attorney, to be more sure of your rights and risks.

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