I have a question about patents, for fictional use.

Is it considered patent infringement if you use something that someone else may have patented in a fictional work? I'm curious as to how far this appliance, as I know that films/product lines like Apple get name dropped in a lot of series and, due to the real-life fiction of it, I doubt those can sue. I also remember general electric being in a sci-fi book I read once.

But on topic, I browse TED Talks a lot and often they come up with great ideas I'd often think would be good to integrate into stories I write, and am curious if taking those ideas and putting them in the future would be considered patent infringement. I'd doubt it since the fictional work isn't generating revenue off stealing or use the patented item, and simply using the fact this is possible, but would like to know if someone has seen a prior court case stating the otherwise.

1 Answer 1


To directly infringe a patent one would need to make it, sell it, offer to sell it, import it, use it, or if it is a method, performing the steps of the method. 35 USC 271 (Note-"use" means, if the patent claims a hammer, picking the patented hammer up and hitting something with it. It would not mean using the hammer as an idea in a story.)

Writing about it isn't any of those.


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