I have filed a patent, hopefully it will be granted.

After filing, I have found an older patent, that is somewhat close to mine.

Let's say the patent office doesn't find out about this patent (a thin hypothesis, but who knows)

Does holding my patent protects me from this other patent ?

Do I risk being sued by the other older patent owner ?

I am not worried that my patent can be invalidated, I am worried to not be able to use my own invention.

  • 1
    "Does holding my patent protects me from this other patent?" No. "Do I risk being sued by the other older patent owner?" Yes.
    – user4545
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 17:50

2 Answers 2


Patent rights are exclusion rights which in simpler terms means 'I wont allow others to use my invention without my consent' having said that it does not mean that a patent holder is free to use his own invention. Take example as X has patent on PEN and Y came up with PEN with non-erasable Ink; Y will get patent on invention as its novel and inventive but he wont be able to practice because X will execute his patent on PEN and exclude Y to make PEN. Though Y may come up selling INK only or wait for expiry of X patent.


A patent is more like a negative right assigned to you; thereby you can exclude anyone form using your patent without prior permission;

In no way it will allow you a protection form other existing patents; Any person can approach the patent office for an invalidation against your patent; Instead you can approach any patent research firm, who will do a through research of all existing prior art databases and will let you know if your patent infringes on other patents;

Also a fto (freedom to operate) study will answer your query of whether you can use your invention or not;

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