I'm developed an algorithm for constructing heat maps (eg, maps clicks heatmap) , going to implement. Found that there is already a patent for this method of visualization www.google.com/patents/US8669994 (aka www.google.com/patents/US20110141118), which is similar by ~80 % with my algorithm.

The algorithm I came up with not knowing about this patent (though it already existed ). From a legal standpoint, will be a claims that I stole algorithm?

(More Technical Question) What "Google Analytics" (for example) are doing with such patents in their heat maps? Comes up with something completely new or just ignores the presence of patents?


1 Answer 1


If you are worried about accidentally infringing an existing patent my answer is:

It depends on the 80%. It is all about the other person's claims. If you do everything that any one of the claims requires then you probably infringe. Basic patent infringement does not require previous knowledge of the patent.

If you want a patent my answer is: There is*no percentage of change to get a patent over something that already is out there. To get a patent your concept must be novel and non-obvious. Almost any functional or structural change gets past novelty. Harder - Is it obvious to a hypothetical someone of average skilled in the art but complete knowledge of everything published in the field ever?

A simple substitution of one known sort technique by another known technique in the middle of a complex system will be seen as obvious - Unless it makes a significant and unexpected change in the system as a whole.

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