I'm not American, so the US patent law is not relevant to me.

The thing I'm stuck with is the patentability of my inventionـwhether my invention can apply for a patent or not.

Basically what I did was that I reverse-engineered a product existing abroad, with a registered patent in Europe and the US, improved it by making some sort of modification to the core of how it functions, which gives users better options and ease of use.

Some other improvements I put are secondary, giving the entire product a different design that, in a big part of it, is not relevant to the claims of the existing invention abroad.

This product has a valid patent registered in the US as well as in Europe. I live in north Africa, and I intend to register my product that is improved in my country. Literally there are no local patent attorneys I can ask. I'm still wondering if my product is eligible for a patent or not, or at least if I have a chance.

Need someone who know about patent infringement to help me with this, and I'm ready to give more details if needed.


1 Answer 1


You have actually asked about two different topics: patentability and patent infringement. The two have much less to do with each other than many laypeople believe. It is possible for something to both be patentable and to infringe other parents.

Regarding patentability, if the improvements you've made are novel and not obvious in light of the prior art (which includes these patents you've mentioned, as well as any other publications and any actual products being sold or publicly used in the world), that makes those improvements patentable in most jurisdictions throughout the world. In that case, you wouldn't be limited to North Africa—you could possibly also obtain patents in the US, Europe, etc. If the improvements are already known, or if they are obvious in light of what's already known, then you cannot get a patent on them anywhere.

Regarding infringement, patent provide local rights. You have started that you do not care about US patent law because you are not American. However, your residency does not have any bearing on infringement. If you make, use, sell, or import a product in the US, and that product is claimed by a US patent, you have infringed the patent and will be liable for damages. Even if your product had improvements, it can still be covered by the previous patents, as long as it includes every element of at least one of the patent's claims. (The same goes in the European jurisdictions in which the EP patent is registered.)

However, if you plan to keep your business entirely within countries in which there is no patent that covers the product, then you will not infringe any patents.

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