I have been designing a device and acompanying software and recently found an extremely broad utility patent that has a claim that is very similar and covers the some of the general functionality of this.
- If the original artwork has a claim on a sensor that reads data and relays it to a computer, would a the use of multiple similar sensors and accompanying software be considered new / novel enough to be patent-able in itself or would it fall under the original patent?
- If the original claim explicitly states a sensor that has an "internal power source," would using an "external power source" be a difference that would allow a work around?
- If the dependent claims outline specific operation that is not repeated in my design, does the independent claim still cover it or do all of the dependent claims have to be met? For example if a dependent claim states an audible alert, but this provides visual information is that a difference that could be worked around?
- Finally I think the strongest part of my design is in the software. If the software applications I am attempting are not outlined in this patent, is it possible that the software could be novel enough to warrant it's own utility patent?