Performing a patent infringement search can prevent applicants and inventors from wasting valuable resources pursuing a product or design that someone else has already patented.
Searching existing granted patents and applications provides lots of information, but the process can be difficult for individuals who aren’t familiar with the system. A patent professional can help streamline the search and confirm that you aren’t infringing on any patents.
It’s never too early to perform a patent infringement search, even if you think the final invention may evolve and take a totally different form. However, checking that your concept doesn’t infringe on any other inventions can give you peace of mind to spend time pursuing an innovation. It can also help you discover similar products or processes and lead you to create something totally new or add to an existing idea in a totally unique and distinguishable way.
Moreover, a patent infringement search helps keep individuals and companies from wasting precious time and money on research and development that ultimately must be thrown out when it will be found that it violates an existing patent.
When it comes to patent infringement, you will need to understand many key terms. Some key terms are as below:
If you are a business owner or an individual inventor, you need to budget to avoid patent infringement. It’s an up-front investment to save you a lot of time and money in the future. You must know, that patent infringement lawsuits are costly and time-consuming.
Don’t think you can’t get sued, even if you own a small company, someone could still sue you for patent infringement. Patent infringement is a growing field, and many lawyers are willing to take cases on contingency. They don’t get paid unless they win the lawsuit.
You are still at risk even if a small business owns the patent, if that company can’t afford to hire an attorney, it could eventually be bought out by a bigger company that can afford to bring a lawsuit or the company may hire a lawyer who can win the lawsuit and get himself paid by you.
Don’t assume you know every patent. Even experts in their fields can’t possibly know every new technology or patent for products that aren’t on the market. Just because you know a lot about your area doesn’t mean you can’t unintentionally infringe on someone else’s patent.
To be clear, you can’t play dumb to get out of a lawsuit. In fact, ignoring or pretending a patent doesn’t exist sometimes makes you seem more guilty in court.
Lawsuits are problematic for multiple reasons:
Be proactive and diligent about patents. Always check your competitors for new technology and their patents. Check the packaging of relevant products for any patent numbers. If necessary, simply ask a competitor if they have an existing patent.
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