I was in the process of starting an online business then found a company already selling this same product in US. On their website it says they have a patent pending on it. How would this affect my business based in Canada? Does it prevent us from shipping to US clients? Or does it only refrain us from manufacturing the product on US soil?

Any information would be appreciated. Thank you!


Does it prevent us from shipping to US clients? Or does it only refrain us from manufacturing the product on US soil?

Yes it is accounted as infringement under 35 USC 271 which is quoted below for you ready reference.

35 U.S. Code § 271 - Infringement of patent

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent. (b) Whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer. (c) Whoever offers to sell or sells within the United States or imports into the United States a component of a patented machine, manufacture, combination or composition, or a material or apparatus for use in practicing a patented process, constituting a material part of the invention, knowing the same to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of such patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, shall be liable as a contributory infringer.

  • I like this answer better than mine :-). Perhaps adding a link to the appropriate USPTO web page would be helpful. – Eric Shain Jan 16 at 23:44
  • @EricShain The line are from US statue and had updated the link to web page – RishiM_IPR Jan 17 at 2:44

I am not a lawyer, but here is my take on your question. A patent provides, from a legal standpoint, the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent. Many companies who file patent applications do so in multiple countries so you would have to also worry about whether a corresponding Canadian patent gets issued. Despite being located in Canada, a US patent would keep you from selling to US customers.

Just because you know of a single pending patent doesn't mean there aren't other relevant patents issued in the US or elsewhere. I would strongly recommend you consult with a patent attorney before marketing your product and not rely on opinions found on the internet to protect you.

  • you might add using and importing to the list of things a patent protects. Also, offering for sale. – George White Jan 16 at 2:19
  • @GeorgeWhite Could you clarify? I thought my statement regarding sale in or to the US was clear. – Eric Shain Jan 16 at 13:54
  • @GeorgeWhite Are my edits adequate? Feel free to edit as you see fit. – Eric Shain Jan 16 at 15:18
  • great and thanks – George White Jan 16 at 20:43

In addition to the other answers, patent pending means the patent has not yet been granted. That means, the patent does not yet preclude you from doing anything. It might do so in the future, either by you beeing given notice of the pending patent (if it is subsequently granted) or by getting granted.

(The links lead to old answers explaining the topics more in-depth)

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