A Product Does Not Have to Match the Patent

What do I mean by “A Product Does Not Have to Match the Patent”? I have noticed that several Inventors I have dealt with lately had a misconception that I thought would make good information for other Inventors. When you see a company’s product with a Patent number embossed on it that does not mean every aspect of the product is using everything allowed in the patent claims. And every part of the product may not be patented.

The company can have 18 Claims listed in their patent and decide that the product only needs to use 11 of them to be a viable marketable product. So if you see a product and decide your unique difference from the competitors is yours can be used by right and left handed people, or your knife sharpener will do regular blades and serrated blades because you only see regular blade sharpeners on their product it does not mean their patent doesn’t already cover it.

The patent is there to protect the product so anything not included in the product but covered by the patent just gives the company a broader scope of protection if another company decides to compete against them in the market.
So, if you see a product on the market and you plan on competing against them with your own idea/product what do you think would be your path forward?

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