I was looking to get a patent on a product when i came across a simular product already patented. How different must my product be. Mine functions different ,however in the ending result is the same. My invention really is better.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Your invention must be patentably distinct from the prior invention. That is, your invention can do the same thing, result in the same way, but there must be at least one difference that is novel, useful, and non-obvious (that's a term of art in the patent world) between your invention and the prior invention for your invention to qualify for patent protection. Depending on what, exactly, differs between your invention and the prior invention, you may be entitled to protect your entire invention or only an improvement you made to the prior invention.
Take, for example, the classic mousetrap. There are many models of mousetraps available, and all of them either are or were at one time protected by patent. They all catch mice; some catch and kill mice, others catch mice for later release. They all have some sort of bait, whether that bait be built into the trap or put there by the trapper. They all have some sort of release mechanism, whether that mechanism is spring-loaded, a simple finger-pulled door, or some other mechanism. They all work by fooling the mouse into walking into the trap; how they then trap the mouse varies.
That the end result of your invention is the same as the end result of a prior invention is sort of noticed, but that fact alone is given very little weight in the patent examination process.
Your patent attorney can help you determine whether your invention meets the standards of patentability. I offer patent services; contact my office for further information about the services I offer; 518-371-4599 or [email protected] .
THIS POST CONTAINS GENERAL INFORMATION AND IS INTENDED FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE, NOR DOES IT CREATE ANY ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. FOR LEGAL ADVICE ON YOUR PARTICULAR MATTER, CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY.
The degree of difference needed to be patentable varies considerably depending on the specific technology and the similar products. Some very minor changes might be obvious while other seemingly minor changes would be perfectly patentable.
Related Questions & Answers
My son just sold me a boat and his wife wont let me pick it up. What can I do Asked 8/14/11, 6:17 am in United States Utah Intellectual Property
Can my ex wife sue me if I write a story about our life and if I change all the... Asked 12/10/10, 2:06 pm in United States Utah Intellectual Property