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How to Avoid Infringement When Creating a Patent

30817906_Subscription_S1-300x151.jpgThe United States ranks ninth in patents per capita globally, which means there are countless patents being approved and applied for every day. That being said, it's now more important than ever to ensure that your patent isn't at risk of infringement.

In the last two decades, patent lawsuits have increased from 500 to over 3,000 annually. To avoid being sued in one such trial, here's what you need to do.

What is Patent Infringement?

Patent infringement is defined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as the act of making, using, selling, or offering to sell a patented invention, or importing into the United States a product covered by a claim of a patent without the permission of the patent owner. Importing items produced using a patented method is also considered a form of infringement and should be avoided at all costs.

If you're applying for a patent, infringement is something you need to avoid as well, and here are a few tips to help you do just that.

Start Early

There's nothing more important than starting early on your patent application. Be diligent and be proactive!

Patent and trademark attorneys will advise research on all parts of your patent or trademark application prior to submitting. One of the most essential areas for research is during the product concept stage. In this stage, it's easy to identify potential areas of infringement and then change them as needed.

Stay Informed

Many people believe that tunnel vision will help them complete their patent quickly, but then forget to check if there's competition. The truth is that the competition can alert you to issues within your own work, as well as help avoid unintentional patent infringement. Stay informed and up to date on other patents similar to yours!

Ask an Attorney

The best advice you could possibly hope for will no doubt come from a patent attorney. These professionals are educated in the process of patents and are quite literally there to help you submit a successful patent application. Patent lawyers are definitely your greatest ally when it comes to avoiding patent infringement.

Do Your Research!

While a patent attorney is your best resource, doing research on your own never hurts. In fact, you can search through a database of older patents to ensure that your application isn't infringing upon other, potentially bigger concepts similar to your own. The only thing worse than patent infringement is patent infringement involving a huge company with a deep bench of high power patent lawyers in their pocket.

In 1790, is only cost applicants about $5 for a patent. Now, not only does the application process cost more, the fees resulting from a lawsuit are monumental. Make sure to do your research before you apply for a patent, and when in doubt, contact a patent attorney for help!

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