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In reference to the patent: US5265515

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  • It has lapsed and is not a design patents
    – George White
    Jun 17, 2017 at 19:58

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The cited patent has expired. Thus, it does not inhibit you from making a product as specified in its claims. Whether you can obtain a patent for the same device with a different material is harder to assess. The challenge is obviousness. Would someone knowledgeable in the field think it an obvious substitution? My guess is that if you are simply changing one plastic with a similar one not mentioned in the patent it wouldn't be patentable. If however there were some unexpected benefit then it might be. It should be pointed out that there is every possibility that there are other patents or prior art that may impact the evaluation of patentability.

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