I saw this patent for Medbox and I was wondering how it doesn't violate EP 2174251 B1 which is for a medicine dispensing machine called Pyxis Medstation. They are similar machines however one dispenses pharmaceuticals while the other dispenses marijuana. But they both dispense medicine. Don't see much of the distinction.

2 Answers 2


A patent only gives its owner the right to exclude others from using or making an invention. Applying for a similar patent is not patent infringement. So, for example, if you patented bread, I can still patent a peanut butter and jelly sandwich--I'm just not allowed to make or use one with bread. So now if either of us want to make a PB&J, one of us has to get permission from the other (I need your permission to use bread and you need my permission to make the whole sandwich).


They are both locked boxes for holding medicine that communicate with a remote computer system. Otherwise the claimed inventions do not seem to have a lot to do with each other. On skimming the claims, I see that one is a secure, patient identifying, vending machine and the other is tied into a hospital's patient admitting/ discharging system to be sure the left over drugs go back to the pharmacy when the patient is discharged. I did only skim them so if I have missed something please comment on the specific overlap.

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