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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default Avoiding Patent Infringment

    Hello! We're putting a site together that allows people to customize greeting cards and have them printed and shipped. We're worried that it might infringe on Patent Trolls' desire for litigation. How can we be sure that our system wont infringe on a patented system?

    The two patents in question are:
    US patent #5,748,484
    US patent #5,748,484

    Thank you so much for your help!

    -Alex

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Avoiding Patent Infringment

    You really need to speak with a lawyer about this. Above all, regardless of whether it actually infringes or not, the owner of those patents can sue you. Sometimes such entities sue simply to put the competition out of business, even if they are acting lawfully. If they have a lot of money and you don't, that is the perfect situation they can take advantage of.

    Personally I believe there is a serious problems with our patent system if it allows one to patent what I read on the link. In the simplest form, it covers;

    a person designing a card on their site
    printing the card utilizing their site
    having the cards sent to the consumer.


    I'm thinking; gee, what a novel idea...NOT.

    In fact, the basic requirements for an invention to be eligible for patent protection:

    In the United States, there are five elements of patent eligibility. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) states:

    1. In order for your invention to qualify for patent eligibility, it must cover subject matter that Congress has defined as patentable. The USPTO defines patentable subject matter as any "new and useful" process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter. Machines or processes are patentable subject matter, but the laws of nature are not. So, you can patent a machine for sorting packages, but you can't get a patent for sunlight.
    2. The invention must have a "utility," or in other words, be useful. Note that this requirement is only for utility patents (see next question, below).
    3. The invention must be "novel," or new.
    4. The invention must be "non-obvious," meaning its use or function can't be something that is simply the next logical step of an already patented invention. Much of the argument between the USPTO and patent applicants revolves around the issue of non-obviousness.
    5. The invention must not have been "disclosed" to the public prior to the application for the patent. For example, if you've written an article describing the invention before you apply for the patent, the USPTO may deny the application because you've already disclosed the patent and therefore it's public knowledge.
    and don't even get me started on non-obvious.

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