Reducing the Risk of Patent Infringement

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Stauffer, Larry
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Idaho
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3035-3044
DOI number:


One life-cycle issue that is often overlooked in the design process is that of intellectual property (IP). Yet the IP associated with a product is a valuable asset of the company, sometime comparable to the materials produced or the manufacturing infrastructure. In particular, this paper addresses the IP of patents, the opportunity for patent infringement, and ways to reduce the risk of getting into this situation. One poorly managed patent infringement case could cost the company millions of dollars, wiping out years of profit from production of that product. Patent infringement is a complex topic that combines design and law with many uncertainties. Designing products that do not infringe the patent rights of others is a goal that cannot be done with certainty. A primary reason is due to the uncertainty of understanding what is protected in a patent and the uncertainty of the patent infringement process. The purpose of this paper is to educate the designer on what constitutes patent infringement and explain some ways to reduce the risk of infringing the patent rights of others.

Keywords: Design for X (DfX), New product development, Design methods

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