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?

  • $\begingroup$ I suggest that you list our some of the published patent. Since these are public infomation, it will not have any impact on your Product. $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2016 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ google.com/patents/US20150100173 $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2016 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ This is only a patent application. The patent has not been granted. If the patent is awarded and you infringing of the patent they you might have some issue to resolve. So you need to keep track of this patent. $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2016 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ Where can I see that it is not granted. $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2016 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ Review the updates $\endgroup$ Sep 26, 2016 at 0:19

1 Answer 1


The patent of interest is currently in application stage. Review the marking in the below image.

Patent Application - Example

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Patent Claim

If you believe your product is infringing on the patent application, you will need to hire a patent lawyer to investigate work around.


  • $\begingroup$ Keep in mind that the title and description are not the thing they are patenting. Only the items listed in the claims are covered by the patent. The other important thing to note is the priority date. If you have proof that you came up with the idea before that date then your work counts as prior art and their patent is invalid. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Andrew, In the US as I understand under the current law the priority date is pretty much super seed all, thus is proof that person filing for patent is original inventor. I am fairly certain per my recent working that " If you have proof that you came up with the idea before that date then your work counts as prior art and their patent is invalid" is no longer true. $\endgroup$ Sep 26, 2016 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ If you came up with the idea first and published it, that publication can be used to invalidate the patent in a relatively expensive process called and IPR. If you came up with it first and did not publish it or sell a product based on it then they have nothing that can affect the patent $\endgroup$ Nov 5, 2019 at 23:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.