What needs to be done so that I do not infringe upon the patents of someone elses machine?

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What needs to be done so that I do not infringe upon the patents of someone elses machine?

My example is like this. Let’s say a machine someone else created makes tortillas. I want to tweek it to make pancakes instead. I would be adding some parts and maybe slightly changing one other part of the original machine. If infringement is inevitable, I would like to contact the machines owners but not give away my idea for free. Would a” Non Disclosure” form be all that I would need to protect my idea?

Asked on December 10, 2010 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to go and to see a patent attorney as soon as you can and before you start any production of any sort on this product.  What you have done does not appear in the first instance to be illegal or infringement.  Your modification could be looked at as creating a new machine and for a different use.  But you really need to bring it to someone who knows the law and can see just how much you have changed the original product and if the change is substantial enough to warrant an entirely new patent.  It sound like you ar on the road to something big.  Do not get stuck at the light.  Good luck.


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