A common question (or variation) I get asked is "I have an idea that is based on that is based on a product that was patented at one point, how can I tell if the product is still patented so I don't infringe? "
Start-ups ask this question to 1) try to limit their liability even if they are modifying a product, 2) if the start-up is modifying a product they may have to get a license for the assignee of the patent to make their product , and it would be a much cheaper process without having to pay the license fees.
To answer this question, it is important to take a step back and understand the "life cycle" of a patent application. Upon filing an application, a patent is given an application number, these generally are in the form of XX / XXX, XXX. 18 months after the … Read More