Who looks at patent markings on products? Ordinary consumers certainly wouldn't care. So, if you were planning to manufacture and distribute a product copied from an existing product by someone else, you would never assume that any patent marking on the product or its packaging was adequate in defining the extent of protection -- you would instinctively look up the patent number and read it. A half an hour of reading through a patent -- its diagrams and claims -- would help you to determine whether there might be interference or infringement as a result of trying to bring your own version of the product to the marketplace. As a manufacturer, I can't imagine anyone not checking out the patent claims on a competing product.
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