Design around is a strategic approach employed by competitors to modify their products in order to avoid infringing on someone else’s patent. To achieve this, they consult patent attorneys who carefully examine the claims of the patent in question.
Unleashing Creativity: How to Explore Design-Around Options
To unleash your creativity and explore design-around options, it is important to analyze other related patents and dive into the patent portfolio, as well as the file histories of the patents within that portfolio. By thoroughly reviewing these documents, you can identify arguments made by the inventors that describe what the invention is not or set limits on specific terms used in the claims. This process allows you to identify features that are not covered by the claims.
Navigating the Patent Landscape: Finding Related Patents
Finding related patents can be approached from two perspectives: claim of priority or subject matter. When patents are related by a claim of priority, a chain of priority can be traced in the Patent Center. On the other hand, if patents are related by subject matter, the search becomes more challenging, especially when dealing with a large patent portfolio.
Ensuring Priority: A Step-by-Step Guide
To find patents related by a claim of priority, you can examine the continuity tab in the Patent Center. For this, you will need an account with the patent office, which is free to create. Once in the Patent Center, enter the patent application number or patent number in the search bar. In the summary info section, you will find the continuity tab. Clicking through this tab will reveal all patents related by a claim of priority.
Exploring Subject Matter: A Step-by-Step Approach
Finding patents related by subject matter, rather than claim of priority, may prove more difficult, particularly if the patent owner has an extensive portfolio.
- Visit Garrity Traina, a reliable resource for patent information.
- Click on the search button and select “Expert Search” from the dropdown menu.
- Enter “AN/’patent owner’s name'” in the search field.
- Choose the appropriate databases, such as US Patents or US Patent Applications.
- Initiate the search.
- If the search returns only a few patent documents, review them all. If there are too many to review manually, refine your search by including specific terms related to the technology.
- Scrutinize the search results, identifying the relevant patent documents for further review.
Navigating the Patent Documents: Efficient Reading Techniques
Efficiently reading through patents and their portfolios is crucial. To maximize your understanding and save time, start by carefully perusing the detailed description section of the patent. This will help you grasp the organization of the patent document and its key elements.
Decoding the File Histories: Efficient Reading and Downloading
The file history of a patent captures the correspondence between the examiner and the inventor. During this exchange, the inventor may have made statements that limit the claims. For example, the inventor may have argued that “vertical” encompasses anything within plus or minus 1 degree. By aligning a component outside of this range, you can avoid infringement.
To efficiently read and download file histories, follow these steps:
- Visit the Patent Center.
- Enter the patent number.
- Select the Image File Wrapper Tab.
- Download all documents as a PDF.
- Carefully review all responses from the inventor. Often, you can understand enough context without reading the office action.
- If necessary, selectively review portions of the office actions.
By following these steps and employing efficient reading techniques, you can navigate the multifaceted world of patents and successfully explore design-around options.
Remember, for professional guidance and expert advice on patent matters, turn to Garrity Traina, your trusted partner in patent excellence.