Henderson, NV asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Nevada

Q: How do I know if my idea infringes on a patent? Patents are very complicated. Do I make an appointment with a lawyer?

There are all sorts of products that are similar or improve on an already existing idea. My idea is in that atmosphere, but the marketing concept for my would-be product is vastly different than the product that already exists. I've been brainstorming ways to create a different design that offers the same function, but patents are extremely detailed. How am I supposed to know if my product would infringe on any of them? Do I just create a prototype and bring it in to a lawyer's office with a copy of the patent I'm trying to avoid infringing?

2 Lawyer Answers
Stephen Kontos
Stephen Kontos
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Royal Oak, MI

A: You should be working with a patent lawyer during the R&D process. In general, a patent lawyer can help you understand the scope of the patent, identify other patents in your technical area that might be of concern, and help you either design around any enforceable patents or seek a license from the patent owner. You should consult with a patent lawyer before you do anything that would be considered patent infringement.

DISCLAIMER I'm not your attorney. This is not legal advice. I do not guarantee any results.

Bernard Samuel Klosowski agrees with this answer

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: A patent attorney is the key to a proper answer to whether you infringe the rights of others.

But it can help to learn a bit about the process before you speak to the attorney. Here is some background on Freedom-to-Operate searches/opinions and on designing around a patent claim.

https://www.flynniplaw.com/services/legal-services/freedom-to-operate/opinions

And https://www.flynniplaw.com/services/legal-services/freedom-to-operate/design-around-guidance

It can also help if you do some initial searches to become aware with at least part of what is out there.

This slide set teaches entrepreneurs on how to perform searches for relevant patent applications and issued patents. https://bit.ly/Patent_Searching

In the end, you will need to work with a patent attorney to reduce the risks of infringing patent rights of others, but becoming educated helps with the process.

I hope that this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

Timothy John Billick agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.