How do we perform in depth patent research on an imported device? 2 Answers as of September 30, 2010

My company is attempting to important an industry device that does not seem to be patented in the US. This product has, however, existed outside of the US for quite some time. We want to make some slight changes to the device. All that we have performed so far is a basic Google patent search. How can we find out if it has, in fact, not been patented in the US or abroad?

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Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
This is a dangerous thing to do yourself if you are not trained. What happens if you miss something, start selling the device and then find out it infringes someone's patent?

Hire a professional searching service to do this.

The actual device would have to bear a valid US patent number on it to be enforceable. However if it is not being sold here in the US it would not have to bear a US patent number. If you are looking to see if that actual device itself has a patent that would be cheap and easy. If you know the owner (company) or the inventor then you could search on the US Patent website yourself. However if you are trying to see if there exists a patent that this device may infringe, then that is a lengthy search. This is a dangerous thing to do yourself if you are not trained. What happens if you miss something, start selling the device and then find out it infringes someones patent? Hire a professional searching service to do this.

If you are not clear on what exactly you are looking for please feel free to give me a call for a better explanation.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/30/2010
Kafantaris Law Group
Kafantaris Law Group | Theo Kafantaris
Patent firms typically offer a patent search for clients in your position for a low fee. A patent search report will include all prior art that is relevant to your invention as well as a patentability opinion from the patent attorney's perspective. Feel free to contact me if you would like a search conducted on your invention.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/30/2010
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