How can I find out if my patent has been infringed upon?
UPDATED: February 20, 2013
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Discovering whether someone has infringed upon a patent is generally up to the patent holder. It is rarely the case that this information comes to a person without having taken the time to look. There are a few steps a patent holder can take in searching for possible infringement:
Use Online Resources
A basic online search is probably the best form of discovery, and the least expensive.
Search engine databases allow you to create daily, weekly or as-it-happens email alerts and to search blogs on a patented product idea by providing key search terms. Some of them, such as Google, have their own patent database with over seven million patents online and an RSS feature to see new filings.
Hire an Attorney
You can hire an attorney to do it for you – which is what many patent holders do. A patent attorney can take the time required to do complete searches – not only on the internet, but in the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database or other databases as well.
Deciding which process, or a combination of the two, works best for you depends upon the complexity of your patent, the time you have to search and your general preference.