I have a question regarding how “close” a product can be in terms of IP infringement in the US and the use of language in a claim.
We make a specific kind of paracord / kernmantle. This includes additional cores of Jute tinder material, woven line (for fishing and emergency suturing) and copper wire.
We have been told to cease trading this product as it infringes on IP in the USA.
The IP holders IP states in the Claims section of their IP that do not apply to our product. For example:
IP CLAIM: “a continuous full-length strand of abrasion-resistant and clear and transparent nylon or fluorocarbon monofilament and added to said core”
OUR VERSION: Does not contain clear monofilament line. It is a tightly woven additional thread.
IP CLAIM: “the abrasion-resistant and transparent nylon or fluorocarbon monofilament has at least a fifty pound test rating.:
OUR VERSION: As above - There is no monofilament, the breaking strain is less than 50 lb
IP CLAIM: “a continuous metal wire that runs inside the full-length of the improved woven mantle sheathing; wherein the mantle further provides electrical insulation for the continuous metal wire.
OUR VERSION: This is correct - we have a continuous metal wire running through the length - however….
IP CLAIM: “a plastic coating applied to the surface of the continuous metal wire, and protecting the material from corrosion, and for mitigating any wire breaks; wherein the plastic coating further provides a degree of electrical insulation for the continuous metal wire.”
OUR VERSION: Our wire is NOT covered in a protective coating of any kind.
The Claims section then broadens out in language toward the end to state:
at least one strand adapted for fire-starting and tindering; at least one strand adapted for inclusion in a fishing line, leader, and tippet; a number of strands in combination adapted for roping with at least a 550-pound breaking strength; and a single woven covering that sheaths the above together into a single pliable cord; a single length of the whole is twisted, looped, knotted, and otherwise fashioned into a bracelet adaptable to the wrist of a user; and a strand of metal wire included within said single length.
The patent then further broadens in the description stating:
“ Although the present invention has been described in terms of the presently preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not to be interpreted as limiting. Various alterations and modifications no doubt become apparent to those skilled in the art after having read the above disclosure. Accordingly, it is intended that the appended claims be interpreted as covering all alterations and modifications as fall within the “true” spirit and scope of the invention. “
I have been told that “In order to infringe on a claim, your device must include each and every element of the claim.”
If this is true, then the CLAIMS area is the critical part - however, the claims goes from very specific for example from a metal wire covered in plastic - through to a “metal wire”
Am i infringing on this patent? If the patent issued has language in the claims section that goes from specific to broad - which one applies?
Really appreciate any advice you can give me.