Print this page Print this page

How to Legally Design Around a Competitorís Product

Tracy P. Jong, Esq., Patent and Trademark Attorney
Cheng-Ning Jong, P.E., B.S., M.S., Registered Patent Agent

Course Outline

In this course, you will learn:

This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

This course will provide the following specific knowledge and skills

  1. Understand the importance of patent claims in outlining the scope of enforceable protection;
  2. Understand important sections in a patent;
  3. Understand the concepts of infringement;
  4. Understand the conceptual difference between infringement and requirements to obtain a patent;
  5. How to verify whether a patent is enforceable;
  6. How to differentiate the present invention to design around prior art;
  7. How to differentiate the present invention to enhance patentability; and
  8. How to recognize and interpret means plus function language.

Intended Audience

This course is intended for practicing engineers of any industries whose daily work involves creating innovations but have little or no practical experience in protecting the innovations or differentiating innovations from prior art and patented inventions.

Benefit to Attendees

Attendees of this course will learn how to become an effective member of an engineering team by (1) recognizing the scope of patent protection, (2) creating innovations which steer clear of prior art and (3) identifying the enforceability of a patent reference.  Attendees will learn about various parts of a patent which will enable rapid identification of prior art for further analysis and (4) ways one may successfully design around patented technology.

Course Introduction

Technology is a key asset to most businesses. The know-how to produce a product or a service in a manner that sets the company apart from its competitors is a proprietary advantage that must be protected for continued success. Know-how is often the result of a significant expenditure of corporate resources and the benefit of experience through trial and error. This proprietary technology allows them to be competitively positioned in the marketplace.  Your competitor is equally aware of the importance of protecting technology and have applied for and been granted patents in certain technology areas you operate in.  This course is designed to bring awareness to you about the types of things to consider when designing around your competitor’s products.

Course Content

In this lesson, you are required to download and study the following course content in PDF format:

How to Legally Design Around a Competitorís Product

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

We have introduced several concepts about designing around a competitor’s product and the risks to consider when releasing products similar to the prior art.  Although patent protection may seem to carry the connotation of “anti-competition,” there are legitimate ways by which one may design around a competitor’s products.  By pointing out various aspects of a patent, it is the authors’ hope that the course has raised the reader’s awareness in spotting potential concerns in commercializing a product in a field populated with a significant amount of prior art.  The reader may also use this same knowledge to protect a product from a competitor’s encroachment into its protected segment of the marketplace.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.