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Patent Question

andyme's Avatar

I have a product idea that's very similar to an existing product. I have found patent info on this existing product. The "Claim" is that it's an ornamental design. I have 2 questions. 1. How do I know if I have done a complete search of the products patent information.  2. Could someone look at this patent with me and give non infringement work around suggestions.

Thank you Andy

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kabuj's Avataree_badge

Hi Andy,

Something to keep in mind is that when a USPTO Examiner processes/reviews an application, they typically do not review the CLAIMS of the prior art but rather the specification; to determine if the application being processed includes anything that is disclosed or implied in the prior art. Make sure you also pay close attention to what's in the specification as well as the claims. Everything in the specification is not necessarily what is claimed, but if it is in the specification it is still consider prior art nevertheless.

Obtaining professional legal advise is always recommended. I'm not an attorney nor do I play one on TV.  Best of Luck!

Robert Pontius
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magurn's Avatar

Hi Andy!

I second KJ's recommendation to consult with an attorney to determine the best next steps for you.

Best of luck!

Robert Pontius
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rharker's Avatar

Andy -- This is the kind of question to ask on the Ask Patents Stack Exchange discussion forum.  When searching on Google Patents the link for asking questions about the patent goes there. (not an insider so I can't post links)  They are very picky on how you ask your question and what you ask.  Can ask for a prior art search but not "is my idea patent-able" questions.

Hope this helps

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swbrummitt's Avatar

'IF' you had someone do as you have asked the question here then you would have to include them in your patent application as a co-inventor. 

I have a story told to me by an inventor friend, who was approached by a professional lady to come up with an alternative to the screws in eyeglasses frames. She provided no substantive information on how to accomplish this feat. 

He came up with an invention that fulfilled the request and he filed for the patent. He then took her all the information and documentation of HIS work and the patent application and also presented her with a bill for his consultant's fee. She was incennsed that he had not put her name on the patent. He said: "That's because you didn't invent it!" She said: But it was MY idea!" To which he said: Too bad they don't patent 'IDEAS' only INVENTIONS!

Robert Harker
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rharker's Avatar

I have since become an insider:

Ask Patents Stack Exchange

They need the patent number and a good question and somebody will give you an answer.  May not be the one you want though.  Ornamental designs have no utility and and you likely need only cite it as prior art in a utility application.  You simply have to make your invention differently.  Not professional advise ... seek your own counsel. 

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