I am new to the world of patents. I wanted to manufacture this toilet bidet in Southern Africa. Would this infringe any patents? Is the patent in the link provided above expired?

1 Answer 1


The linked-to patent (US5271104) is expired worldwide. As such, the underlying technology is available for use by anyone. There is no need to seek license or permission from the original patentee.

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    However ... there may exist other unexpired patents that are "similar" enough for the patent holder to claim infringement under broad commonalities SHOULD your product deviate from the exact specifications of the original (expired) patent. I've seen it done many times on the web/software side, just have an attorney go over your idea/product, to be safe.
    – Ron J.
    Oct 29, 2012 at 18:40

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