Design · Engineering

How do I use a patented technology?

Angus MCKENZIE Aspiring Entrepreneur, Designer, Engineer, Craftsman,

March 27th, 2019

I have an idea for a cigarette lighter that uses the electric coil usb charged technology. There are multiple patents of it. How do I go about acquiring this technology so I can implement it into my design?

James Corbishley Inventor and sustainable energy startup

March 27th, 2019

First, I'd check if the patent is still in force - even if the filing date is less than 20 years ago, quite often people let their patents go as they cannot afford the renewal fees. Google Patents is quite good for that.

After that, read each patent very carefully and in particular the claims - you say there are multiple patents, but are you sure that any of these patents actually claim what you want to do?

Depending on what you find, you may want to discuss buying their patent or getting a license - or maybe discuss a joint venture arrangement? If the patent owner isn't using their patent or has something else in mind for it, they may be interested in licensing it, possibly in return for royalties if your product is successful.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

March 27th, 2019

You must obtain a license from the patent holder. It's that straightforward.

James Corbishley Inventor and sustainable energy startup

April 10th, 2019

If the patent has expired you don’t need a license. At least in the US where the patent you cite has expired.

The situation might be different abroad so I would check any country out individually if you want to sell there.

Louis Lim Founder, CEO Helios Eos

April 11th, 2019

Get a patent agent to run through what patent is it. If it is a product design patent, or a utility patent. At the same time, which geographic region is it covering.

What other claims is has? To go around it.

The last thing to consider, is it really necessary to reinvent something that is already in the market?

You will be considering about additional manufacturing cost, quantity and quality of the goods manufactured.

The application for certifications or safety mark is there to protect the liability as well.

Angus MCKENZIE Aspiring Entrepreneur, Designer, Engineer, Craftsman,

March 27th, 2019

I've found this patent which I think is the one -

It says it actually expired today so I guess I don't need to obtain a license?