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In reference to the patent: USD247292

I would like to use the mirror with an "L" bracket (manufactured) installed in place of the bar end mount for off-road motorcycle use. "L" bracket would be secured to handle bars using a hose clamp.

Would resale of this with the modification as described cause a patent concern?

Can the mirrors be sold to me directly through the manufacturer?

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  • @WilliamNeely, please edit your question to diagrammatically show where the mirror would be mounted on the handlebar. I am assuming from “hose clamp” that it is definitely not protruding out from the end of the handlebar as the design-patent's bicycle mirror is. Are you mounting it with the clamp onto the outermost fraction of an inch of the handgrips or are you mounting it further inward on the handlebar closer to the steering stem of the motorcycle? May 3 at 14:23

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The cited patent is a design patent. I'd guess if you want to just mount a spherical mirror on an L bracket on a motorcycle it wouldn't infringe this patent. In any case this patent is quite old and should be expired. This is not to say there isn't some other patent you would have to deal with. If you do a Google search on "small spherical mirrors" or "small convex mirrors", you'll find many sources. If you want to work with the manufacturer associated with the cited design patent, there is nothing stopping you from contacting them, although they may or may not agree to do business with you.

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The design patent which the question references protects the distinctively recognizable look of rear-view mirrors protruding out from the end of bicycle handlebars. The mount in 180° straight out from the end of the handlebar tube, which creates a quite distinctive look that is quite unusual.

The question seems to be describing a way of defeating this distinctive look by not mounting them at the end of handlebars, but rather on the handlebars further toward the steering stem of the motorcycle. The question seems to predicate this on a change of angle from 180° to instead 90°.

In my opinion, the design patent had nothing to do with the shape of the mirror itself as a reflective surface, but with the look of the distinctive placement of the mounting via the end of the bicycle handlebar with the mirror at a sharp angle (e.g., approximately 45° for anyone who has utilized this bicycle mirror in practice, as I have on my own bicycle and my wife's). The question clearly defeats all the distinctiveness that the design patent conveyed and that that style of bicycle mirror has in field deployment. The question in design-patent infringement (much as with trademark infringement) is: will the consumer confuse the supposed infringer for the design-patented original. I would say that most juries would say that mounting via a 90° bracket further toward the steering stem in no way resembles a 180° bracket protruding out the end of the handlebar. Most people would say “Whoa! what is that thing protruding out from the end of the handlebar?” in the design patent, but say “Yeah, garden-variety customary mount of a mirror onto the interior part of the handlebar.” for what is described in the question. Hands down no infringement of the design patent in the question as described.

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  • The design patent is expired in any case.
    – Eric S
    May 3 at 15:00
  • @EricS, it is the thought experiment that counts for posterity. StackExchange communities try to build up timelessness in their de-facto encyclopedia of answers over time. You should edit your answer to include this angle too, in addition to the answer that you gave. The expiration-hence-public-domain is an important lesson to teach too. May 3 at 15:31

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