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Patented invention / process / system:

1) X is a predefined number known to the user.
2) If A and B occurs, then the user wins X balls.

Potential infringer

1) X and Y are predefined numbers known to the user.
2) If A and B occurs, then the user will win a number of balls between X and Y.

Does the second invention infringe upon the first?

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  • Did the second “invention” get granted as a patent?
    – Eric S
    Commented Apr 6 at 16:24
  • The second is not a patent. But it is an implementation currently being used. So the question is whether or not the first patent blocks this potential implementation. Commented Apr 6 at 17:51

1 Answer 1

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I am not a lawyer. That said, I would guess that the second implementation infringes on the patent only when the user wins X balls. Thus if the user wins X+1 ball, X-1 ball or any other number of balls except X, it doesn't infringe. Adding a step to a patented process doesn't avoid infringement if each and every step of a claim is implemented. Thus in step one adding knowledge of Y doesn't mean you don't implement step one since the user knows about X. Likewise in step two, if you reward the user with X balls you implement step two.

In real life, things tend to be more complex and potentially more ambiguous.

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  • Let's instead suppose that in the first patent, the X is determined by the APP. In the potential infringing invention, X and Y are randomly generated. Would this still infringe? Commented Apr 6 at 18:34
  • @BearBileFarmingisTorture It all depends on the wording of the claim. If you implement each and every step in a claim you open yourself up to an infringement suit. As I said in the answer, just adding something additional doesn't protect you.
    – Eric S
    Commented Apr 6 at 22:42

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