Can I patent a product if there is already a similar product in the marketplace?



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Question:

I've been working on an idea to create a medical device and plan to patent it.  However, I came across a similar product on the internet.  How do I find out if I can sell my product or not?

Answer:

A patent is defined as a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to an inventor for a limited period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce whose role is to grant patents for the protection of inventions and to register trademarks. It serves the interest of inventors and businesses with respect to their inventions and corporate products, and service identifications. It also advises and assists the President of the United States, the Secretary of Commerce, the bureaus and offices of the Department of Commerce and other agencies of the government in matters involving all domestic and global aspects of “intellectual property.” 

The USPTO features a search tool that allows you to find existing patents.  This may be a good resource for starting your research.

Moving forward, please consult with a Technology Law Lawyer or Intellectual Property Lawyer to determine the proper steps to take in your case.

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