Can I use parts of an existing invention for something else? 4 Answers as of December 02, 2010

I have an idea for an invention. To the best of my knowledge, it is not on the market. The invention is for a certain sport. The invention I have in mind takes an existing invention used for another sport and adds certain components so that it can be used for a different sport. I have confidence that the invention would work but I am looking for some legal advice as far as the next steps to take. I am not sure if I contact someone like Invent Help, call the company that has the existing invention, or what first step I should take. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Kafantaris Law Group
Kafantaris Law Group | Theo Kafantaris
In many respects, parts of any invention are or have been parts of another invention at some point. The real challenge here is defeating obviousness; would it be obvious to combine the existing invention and other prior art to teach your invention. If the answer is yes, you may not be able to patent your new invention.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/2/2010
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
You can file it as an improvement patent. Provided that you do not have all of the elements in any claim of the patented device/sport you wont infringe. If I can be of further help please call.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/29/2010
Handal & Morofsky LLC
Handal & Morofsky LLC | Anthony H. Handal
What you have could be patentable, even if it uses something that exists are ready. Improvements can be patentable if they are new.

The first step is to find out whether it is new. You can try searching yourself. You have nothing to lose. Go to, the official United States Patent Office website, and look under e-business. Try keyword searching on the advanced search feature.

If what you have looks new, you should consult a patent attorney. You may be recommended to a professional search which can cost around $1500, depending upon how much work is done looking. I prefer a small lawyers office specializing in patent law. So-called invention companies seem to offer all sorts of services, but you need to speak with a lawyer who can guide you as toward what you should be doing and who is familiar with this business to avoid wasting resources on things that you may not need.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/29/2010
Fish & Associates, PC
Fish & Associates, PC | Robert D. Fish
I don't normally respond this way because it seems like a cop out to the question. But there are both patentability and right to practice issues that are very fact dependent. You need a patent attorney to sort that out. I strongly recommend against contacting InventHelp or the current patent holder.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/29/2010
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