• February 2019
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How much importance should be given to patents before you build your idea?

Well – you should give SOME importance to patents before building upon your idea because you don’t want a patent infringement suit on your hands. Patent infringement is the act of creating or selling a patented invention or using a patented method without permission of the patent owner. A patent owner can sue you in federal court for patent infringement and, if they can prove infringement, the court can do a number of things. A court may order you to pay monetary damages and/or stop infringing one or more patent claims. If you’re lucky, the court can also find in your favor, either that you do not need a license to the patent because you don’t actually practice the invention, one (or more) of the patent claims is not valid, or that the patent owner is otherwise not entitled to prevail against you.

Once you get through all this, you also have to make sure you have taken the doctrine of equivalents into consideration even if your product does not literally infringe on another patent. If a claim limitation is missing from your product (thus, you have not literally infringed), your product might include a feature that is equivalent to that missing claim limitation, and you’re back at square one.

Just make sure that your patent is different than the patent of others – it’s so easy right? Not quite. Patent applications are routinely rejected by the USPTO so you should probably hire a patent attorney if you’re serious about it. You can do that at LawTrades, where we offer free quotes from affordable, experienced patent attorneys.

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