I have designed a product and I found that there is a patent on that specific product. There also seems to be many patents and for the smallest or most obvious use of items. I am wondering if anyone has had experience creating a product and finding there are patents on it and then how do you counter with that? How can you be sure you 100% violate it?
The patent of interest is currently in application stage. Review the marking in the below image.
In general from an engineering product design stand point the first to investigate is if the patent is active. Two scenario to look for is as follows.
- Is the patent currently maintained by the author, if the author is not maintaining the patent, then you will not be infringing on patent, and you should not have to worry about.
- Is the patent active. All utility patents are valid for only 17 years from the date the patent was granted. If the patent has expired you should not have to worry about infringing on the patent.
If the patents are active then you need to carefully investigate are the claims. Is your engineering design infringing on any of the claims? Looks like their is 20 claims listed in the referenced patent. Below is claim 1 (primary claim) for the patent of interested.
If you believe your product is infringing on the patent application, you will need to hire a patent lawyer to investigate work around.