How much similarity is legally allowed without infringing on another’s patent?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How much similarity is legally allowed without infringing on another’s patent?

I am working on a development that is similar I think to that of my

competitor. I don’t want to infringe on their patented product. I heard that 30% similarity is allowed but who makes that decision and what is it based on?

Asked on March 3, 2017 under Business Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no hard and fast or quantitative rule; there is no % of similarity allowed or disallowed. The determination of whether something infringes or not is a subjective determination, made by patent examiners or judges, depending on the exact procedural context, and is different for different technical or scientific fields, since the stardard "art" (base or broadly known knowledge, processes, or learning) varies so much between them. This question cannot be answered in the abstract with a one-size-fits-all answer. You need to consult in detail about *your* specific planned product and the patent(s) in question with a patent law attorney, to understand what you can and cannot do. If your planned product doesn't justify the cost of the legal consultation, it is not worth going down this road in the first place.

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 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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption