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Does a product on the market have to state that it is patented? I need to know if this product is patented.

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  1. Its not mandatory, but if a organization wants to notify potential competitor on infringement risk they can write the patent information on products.

keep in mind that false representation of patent can leads to penalties under IP laws.

  1. if you want to know if product is patented then you need to search about same in patent databases, it involves skilled person to dig out this information for you. in 90% of instances you get the patent by applicant name search if you are not getting any close patent for your search then your search is incomplete.
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  1. Not really necessary to notify a product with the words such as "patent pending", "patent applied for" or "patented product". These words do not provide any legal protection against infringement. However, it may dissuade potential competitors from copying feature(s) of the product or the product as a whole.

You may refer to this link for more information: http://www.invntree.com/blogs/using-patents-marketing-tool-%E2%80%93-good-bad-and-ugly

  1. You may have to carry out search to find out if the product has been patented or not.

A couple of free online patent databases I suggest are:

Espacenet: Good data coverage
Freepatentsonline: Good search interface. Patent data coverage is not as good as Espacenet

Using any of the above mentioned search databases, you can use various search strategies to identify relevant patent publications.

Top 5 patent search strategies

Key string search
Patent classification search
Citation based search
Assignee based search
Inventor based search

You may refer to below link to get an insight on how to conduct patent search: http://www.invntree.com/blogs/how-conduct-patent-search

Other useful links: http://www.invntree.com/blogs/why-freedom-operate-study-must-technology-companies

http://www.invntree.com/blogs/5-options-available-if-your-product-infringing-patent

  • It would seem logical that if the patent owner doesn't claim on the package that it is patented that if someone else comes along and treats the product as unpatented then that someone shouldn't be sued for patent infringement. Common sense says "...why Not claim or post the patent # on the package." – 101heartbeat Dec 24 '14 at 1:44
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    Fact that patent database are open to public therefore due diligence is required even if product dont mention the patent number. its ok if patent number is mentioned on package but if patent revoked, refused,lapsed then entire product has to be called off shelf/market to avoid legal penalties. – Pushpak Dec 26 '14 at 10:59
  • Thx for the good info. – 101heartbeat Dec 29 '14 at 1:53
  • It depends on the strategy adopted by companies. The strategy may or may not work in their way. Company 'A' has patent protection for product "AA". Assume that competitor company 'B' launches product "BB" without carrying out freedom to operate search before launching product "BB" & if product "BB" maps on to the claims of the product "AA", then company 'A' will file infringe suit against company 'B'. On the other hand, if company 'A' indicates about patent on the product "AA", then competitors may either refrain from copying, work around so as to not infringe or invalidate the product "AA". – Vikas Dec 29 '14 at 4:08

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