I would like to leverage an existing (and patented) research methodology, but use it in a different way. The current patented methodology relies on a specific process of humans prescribing assignments and asking questions of other humans, whereas I believe that this process could be conducted in a different way online (in mass quantity) and become more scalable and more accurate.

I want to give credit and recognition to the original patent holder. I'm just wondering how much say they will/should have in the deployment of a modified process that takes their original concept to the next level, and how much it will likely cost to leverage their original invention.


It all depends on the claim wording in their issued patent. You must do everything that at least one claim says in order to infringe. The claims specify what they own.

  • This is a good answer. Even if you believe that you are avoiding their claims, they can still sue you. Once in front of a lay jury, you can lose even if you are right. Some organizations get a freedom to operate opinion from a qualified external attorney. This can help in fighting a suit and if you end up losing a suit it may help in avoiding punitive awards.
    – Eric S
    Dec 26 '16 at 15:38

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