This is a concept question for my and hopefully others' benefit.
I have recently developed a working prototype for a medical application. It is based on a principle that was developed in the 1960's and is an area of active research in universities around the world. Since my prototype is now functional, I plan to make a commercial product out of this.
For the sake of this discussion, let us assume that I am building a thermometer that transmits the sensed temperature to the cloud so the user can trend his temperature changes on his smartphone.
I did a patent search a found a few patents that are recently awarded that are very broad. My questions are:
- In this case, measuring the temperature using a temperature sensor is a basic principle in science. So if I build a thermometer, do I have to pay royalties to existing patent holders of such a basic application?
- The existing patents also claim sending the measured data to the cloud for trending and later viewing. Does it mean that I cannot build similar functionality without paying royalties?
- If the existing patents claim N sensing units for measuring the temperature, does it mean that they have a patent on 2,3,4,..to..infinity sensors? Can I make a product with 3 sensing units without infringing?
These are general questions that will help a novice get started. I plan to get professional help, I am just trying to understand what to expect.