A ‘Flange’ or a ‘Clasp’? Little Details that Lead to Costly Oversights

Your innovative idea is extremely unique! But when it comes down to patentability, even the most extraordinary features can be reduced to generic descriptions. To the untrained eye, these generic terms that may put you at risk of patent infringement can be hard to differentiate.


Let’s say there is a lip to a container that is part of the inventive feature. Some patent practitioners may call it a ‘lip’, a ‘flange’, a ‘protrusion’, a ‘clasp’ or a ‘projection.’ Querying for similar features can return extremely large sets of results that can be challenging to sift through. It can almost feel like a needle in a haystack - and patent searches conducted by someone unfamiliar with your industry often miss the details that can put you in hot water.

The last thing you want to do is wait for a determined and tenacious litigator to do the work for you. Instead of successfully filing your patent and bringing your innovation to market, you get swamped in a costly legal battle. Having a thorough prior art search before filing a patent application is your best defense against any potential validity challenges, and allows you to grow your business with confidence.

Larissa Lewis