In reference to the patent: US 7,877,268

I would like to make this item for my grandmother. I would not be offering it to others or selling it for commercial use. Is this legal? What issues should I be aware/careful of?

1 Answer 1


I would like to make this item [...]. Is this legal?

No. Even for personal use, it would be patent infringement.

Are you sure, however, that your implementation would be doing everything in Claim 1? To me, Claim 1 seems ridiculously specific. It should be very easy to avoid infringement by not implementing some of the more esoteric recitations in Claim 1.

  • Yep, while it's likely that it would never ever be discovered, it would technically be infringing. But as Atsby says, just change some of the parameters. In my view, you can make a similar non-infringing device by not including any communications over telephone lines (the patent was filed in 2004, when dialup was still current), not using photoelectric sensors to detect the presence of a vial, not connecting it to a CPU by means of an RS-232 cable, using different timing cycles. Jul 7, 2015 at 22:11

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