If I buy a product and attach it to my invention, is that infringement? 9 Answers as of March 26, 2013

I have a new idea for a new product, but need to attach an existing product to make mine work.

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Eminent IP, P.C.
Eminent IP, P.C. | Paul C. Oestreich
The answer depends on what sort of product you are buying and whether or not it has any restrictions on its use, further adaptation and the like and whether or not you will be reselling the combined product. Such restrictions are common with various license agreements that come with the sale of products, particularly software with regard to patent rights and copyrights. Additionally, there could be some contexts where trademark rights may be violated if you modify the purchased product and resell it under a new trademark that might cause confusion as to the source of the goods. If on the other hand you are simply purchasing a product that you want to attach to your new concept/idea for you own personal use, it is unlikely that an infringement issue will arise. As always, you should consult an intellectual property attorney so that he or she can fully explore your facts and intended use in order to properly advise you of your rights and possible liabilities.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 3/26/2013
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Not at all.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 3/26/2013
Webb IP Law Group
Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
Patent Exhaustion (the first sale doctrine) generally means that if you buy an authorized product that is covered by a patent, you can then use it and/or sell that particular physical item without violating the patent. If you do a search for patent exhaustion, you can find out more details.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 3/26/2013
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
If the existing product is patented, then you do have to obtain a license.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/24/2013
Law Office of Mathew R. P. Perrone, Jr. | Mathew Roy Patrick Perrone, Jr.
As long as you buy the product from the proper source, you may attach it to your invention. Before you start selling your invention, you should get a professional patent search, and probably file a patent application with the help of a patent attorney.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/24/2013
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
    As long as you purchase the product then you paid the maker for their intellectual property. If you make their product then you might be infringing. Attaching a purchased product to your new invention should not infringe on the existing product.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
    Yes, if the item purchased was from an authorized seller (e.g., not a knock-off copy) - you can use the device in your invention. The first sale doctrine, is a common law patent doctrine that limits the extent to which patent holders can control an individual article of a patented product after an authorized sale. Under the doctrine, once an unrestricted, authorized sale of a patented article occurs, the patent holder's exclusive rights to control the use and sale of that article are exhausted, and the purchaser is free to use or resell that article without further restraint from patent law.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/22/2013
    Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
    No, that is not infringement as you buy the unit and automatically have a license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/22/2013
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