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What do I do if I find an identical invention?

Aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors-to-be often do preliminary research into whether they can protect their invention. We highly recommend the process as it makes you well-informed of the market and can help guide your go-to-market or intellectual property strategy.

However, most people self-select themselves out of the process incredibly early. Though this is often highly dependent on risk tolerance, this can be an important decision to involve an attorney as early as possible to weigh in on whether the found product/invention is actually a 1:1 of what you are trying to achieve.

There may be some problems that the found product doesn't solve, or a shortcoming with the invention, or some market issue preventing wider adoption of the product.
Patent attorneys are often hired for their insight into whether someone is able to patent what they've created, and a patent attorney can weigh in on the risks of whether someone can move forward.

Given the high amount of legal research and opinion involved (especially if the other product is patented or patent pending), this preparation can pay for itself in spades down the road to avoid potential issues like cease and desist letters, litigation, or missing out on a venture that may had some marketable opportunities to pursue.

Author: Fernando Dutra.

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