Hi everyone, I've been a lurker here since I joined, attempting to absorb as much knowledge as possible...which seems an impossible feat in the vast world of inventing. I did submit my idea here a while back. While my idea wasn't up the alley of the board of decision makers, it has gained amazing popularity locally, and has been generating a lot of interest in my field statewide.
While the idea started out as a way to help my field in the category of physical fitness, I was simply building something to use. My crews fell so in love with the 'prototype' that I started researching similar products. I guess that I did about 20 hours of research into something similar. I found nothing. Filed a provisional. A friend sent a link to a patented product that was in the category, yet completely different from a design and usage standpoint. I didn't think much about it due to the differences in design and usage...I admit that I made assumptions that I shouldn't have. Stumbled upon a first customer accidentally a few months later. Did a small showing of the product and sold 2 more. While 3 sales does not seem like a big deal, it is with the product I am selling. Started doing charity events using the product with nothing but positive feedback, not to mention helping people in a positive way. I had just met with a patent atty to file the patent, so I do not have it yet. He pulled prior artwork, found the other product in my field and said it was so far off from mine that we shouldn't have to worry about it. My patent pending doesn't expire until late October this year.
Now comes the problem: I receive a cease and desist letter from IP attorneys representing an individual claiming I infringed on a patent. It was the other product in my field. My patent atty says his patent was the most poorly written patent he has ever seen. I know this is moot, because I will still have to fight this. The 2 points he says I am infringing on are so trivial that I'm not sure he has much grounds. My patent atty sent a response letter this morning. I'm sure that there are some people here who have run into similar issues, so I was wondering how anyone may have dealt with it.