How different does a design have to be to be patented?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How different does a design have to be to be patented?

For example, if a patent for gloves already exists, can you patent a design for fingerless gloves? And if not, can I manufacture an item that has an existing patent? Using the example from above, can I manufacture fingerless gloves if a patent for gloves exists?

Asked on August 18, 2014 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

What is patentable is a very complicated subject and there is no simple answer to what is patentable. That said, to be patentable, a new product or material must be more than an obvious extension of an existing an object or material, whether patented or unpatented. So, in your example, fingerless gloves are an obvious extention of "fingered gloves," obvious to anyone who pays any attention to apparel (e.g. you can analogize from short sleeved shirts, shorts, and any other clothing article which is a "shorter" version of another article). They would most likely not be patented.

You cannot manufacture anything that is patented without the consent of the patent holder.

Whether a given object or product is barred by some patent is also complicated, but the starting point to the analysis is the terms (the "disclosures") of the patent in question--you have to read the specific patent to see what it covers.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption