Q: Hi - I'd like more information on this patent: Patent number: 8633982
Is this a 20 year patent? How close to the design could a competitor come without violating the patented protection?
Google patents lists the expiration date of October 9, 2031 (assumes payment of all maintenance fees).
There are three independent claims. In order to infringe the claims, you need to do what is either literally in claim 1, 8, or 14 or be covered by the slight expansion of scope afforded by the Doctrine of Equivalence.
To literally infringe, your device or method would need every noun and every verb listed in claim 1, 8, or 14. If this is a close call, you should consult a patent attorney.
Kevin E Flynn
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