the relevant question is probably more specific than that, patents rarely protect an entire class of products, but rather, specific aspects of those products. so there could be many patents that cover various aspects of a teleprompter, such that some teleprompters may be patented and others may not. So you really have to look at the specific features. for example, even if the original design has an expired patent, there could be improvement or variations on it that are patented, and those could be numberous.
I would start by looking at an existing teleprompter and do some research to see what patent the company claims it is covered by, if any, that's a good starting point. you can start with a very basic product as that will be most likely to no longer be under patent protection
yes they can help you with doing patent searches, guided by the features you are interested in
as well as consider any new novel features you might want to add
yes so you just need to make sure that the telepromter you want to make does not have patented features, so yes you would start with giving a patent attorney a description of what you want to make (e.g. provide an example of a product on the market) and they can do a search and anlayze any results
anytime, btw this is often referred to an a "freedom to operate" opinion or analysis, i.e. are you "free" to make/sell something or are there patents blocking the way
also, even if there is a patent covering some part of it, its not the end of the road, you can also try to get a license and just have to pay some royalty %
no i don't...but we cant offer such services to customers anyway (against the site rules ; ) )
you should have no prob finding a patent attorney to do that, theres plenty in CA
best of luck!
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