The first step would be to conduct a search of patent literature in the countries you will make, use, or sell your invention. The Patent Office websites in the USA and Europe are USPTO and EPO. You can also search for patents in other countries using Google patents.
For your invention to infringe a patent, the patent needs to be granted and your invention needs to be covered by the claims of the patent (these are numbered sentences usually at the end of the patent document).
You also need to consider published / not granted patents as these may eventually become granted patents, though the claims may be in a different format.
The legal language used in Patent documents, and in particular the claims of patent documents, can be difficult to interpret. If it is in your area then you will need to check the claims to see if your invention is covered.
We do also strongly advise seeking professional help to determine whether your device is safe from infringement. Infringing someone’s patent could block you from selling your medical device - and even shut down your company!
Wondering if your idea is patentable? Have a question about this article? We can answer all of your questions — just hit "contact us" down below!
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