5 Steps to identify and avoid infringement

Regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur, inventor, or large organization, it is important to understand how you can avoid patent infringement. It is much smarter to spend money actively attempting to avoid infringement, rather than to find yourself in a very costly lawsuit further down the line. Even if you have been developing or manufacturing a product for years, it is never too late to take all the necessary steps to help avoid patent infringement.

The following five steps are good practice and in turn save a lot of money on potential lawsuits.

1) Start patent searching as soon as possible 

It is extremely important to begin searching for patents as early in the process as possible. Effective due diligence can eliminate the possibility of having a finished product with no freedom to operate.

2) Be aware of what your competitors are doing

By constantly patent searching throughout the R&D process, you can keep an eye on your competitors and the areas that they are innovating in. This provides the strategic advantage of being able to identify what your competitors are doing before they do it.

3) Differentiate your product

You may find that when you begin researching you have freedom to operate but further down the line you don’t. Don't worry because this doesn’t mean that it’s all over! You just need to differentiate your product so that you won’t be infringing on the patents you have found. This is one of the main benefits of searching for patents throughout the R&D process.

4) Find patents you might be infringing on

A common mistake made is that many companies believe a smaller company will not sue them.  This view fails to consider that a small company may be tenacious in defending its intellectual property. Make sure that you identify these patents early and keep an eye on them.

5) Check that your competitors are not infringing on you

It is important to ensure that you are taking steps to protect your own innovation. Again, the earlier that a potential infringement is dealt with, the more likely it is that an effective resolution can be reached.

Patent infringement can be costly and time consuming and can lead to injunctions and your customers being sued. If you follow these five steps you are much less likely to encounter patent infringement and will be able to innovate without the hassle of any lawsuits.

Patsnap's landscaping tool allows you to view your competitive landscape which shows all of the patents filed in your space on an interactive map. Click on the link below to see more.