Sioux City, IA asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Iowa

Q: I need to know if this is breaching a Patent.

For school, I am planning a a Solar Array for the roof a vehicle such as a Pickup Truck or Van. My idea is similar to an existing patent, Patent Publication Number 20180175785, however my idea is smaller in size, by more than half, and designed for a different purpose, renewable energy generation for mobile living. Is that enough of a change to qualify this as a separate invention?

3 Lawyer Answers
Liliana Di Nola-Baron
Liliana Di Nola-Baron
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Washington, DC

A: The issue is how different is your invention from other products claimed in patents and patent applications, or disclosed in the literature. You should consult a patent attorney to assist you with a patentability evaluation of your product.

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

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

A: Whether your new design might obtain a patent is a serious question that is contingent on a lot of details. Not suitable for a comments on a web site. You need to talk to a patent attorney.

You also need to talk to the patent attorney on whether your proposed device would infringe the issued claims from the cited published application. https://patents.google.com/patent/US10790778B2/en?oq=20180175785 This is true

It is fairly rare that making something somewhat smaller will get you a patent unless it was previously impossible to make something that small (normally those inventions have nano describing the dimensions). It is very rare that using something for its intended purpose with a different set of consumers would give you traction towards getting a patent. Normally, the key is on the features found in the product.

I hope that this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: Great answers here.

You need to invest in a consultation with an attorney to analyze your case and provide options.

If it is a oneoff design, your risk may be low, but you may be stepping in many people's intellectual property with your project.

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