The Patent Attorney on YouTube claimed he could not find the patent on the Festool Domino in the USA.

If no one knows where the patent is, or what patent covers the Festool Domino -- is there any other method to find out what patent covers the Festool Domino other than making one and goading Festool into suing you to show their cards?

  • Does a company with a patent have any duty to tell what patents they have on a product when asked?
  • Do they have any duty to tell you before they file litigation against you?
  • Is claiming "they refused to tell me what patents protected the product before I entered production" a useful defense if you stop production after notified of the patent you're violating?
  • 2
    Keep in mind that patents don't cover products, they cover inventions. I don't know of any particular reason why a company has to keep track of which of their patented inventions they may have used in their own products. All they need to be able to do is identify when such an invention is used in someone else's product. Nov 20 at 6:14
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    Sure, but that's just going around in a circle. If the question "what proprietary inventions are you using in this product" isn't one in which a company has to answer, nor "what proprietary inventions would you claim if I duplicated your product", then effectively the system is promoting civil litigation at the expense of production: the only way to find out whether or not you're doing something legal is to do it and suffer the consequences. Nov 20 at 6:19
  • one question per question please. Those are three unrelated questions.
    – Trish
    Nov 20 at 9:56
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    @Trish "Those are three unrelated questions." Of course not. The first two questions arguably ask the same thing. The 3rd question (defense) clearly is a follow up of the scenario in the 2nd (filing suit). "one question per question please." It would be repetitive (i.e., tiresome to the audience) if the OP created one post for each question, more so given intertwined these three questions are. Nov 20 at 13:11
  • Yeah, they're at the very least related questions. ;) I'd like to see the argument there not so I can understand what you're looking for, rather than just declaring it so. Do you think every topic is better asked, "what can I do to prepare for litigation on Topic", "what can I do to avoid litigation on Topic" that seems exhaustive. Nov 20 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


Festool has applications US20220001570A1 and US20230278153A1 pending in the US but not issued. I do not know if they apply to the Domino but Festool does not seem secretive about patents.

They do have some issued US patents. US7290967B2Dust extractor device for a router. As one comment says, patents are for inventions not for products. It is possible that only one feature of a product is covered by something like a dust removal system that might not be key to the primary feature of the tool but still prevents a clone of it.

A web page for a Domino model does say -

Patented routing principle The spiral cutter rotates and oscillates to create perfect mortises.

If this is untrue and found to be the equivalent of patent mis-marking, it can get them in trouble but doesn't help you. Maybe they are referring the the rumored German patent.

Issued patents are publicly available and a company considering producing a new product can have a freedom to operate search done. This compares your planned product to all relevant patents and it does not require any information from the company you are trying to knock off.

If a patent covers your planned product you can try to find the owner and negotiate a license or you can change your plans or just take a chance and go forward.

Companies are not required to inform the public of the patents they hold which they think cover aspects of a product. One can find patents held by a particular company but it is not possible to always know about patents a company bought from another company or an inventor. The USPTO provides a way to record transfers of ownership but there is no requirement to use the recording facility.

Companies do have an incentive to mark products with the patents that apply. They can get back royalties in an infringement suit since a copier was on notice. However, patent infringement can be done even if you are unaware of a patent and even if you independently made the same invention.

In summary

  • they do not need to tell you what patents they have that cover one of their products but they do get a benefit from proper patent marking and mis-marking is not allowed.

  • They do not need to inform you before suing but usually do.

  • there is no “excuse” for patent infringement. Them not answering a question about their patents does not help you. However note that willful infringement can be penalized by tripling the damages.

  • I didn’t watch the whole video do I will edit the answer. Nov 20 at 17:59
  • A very crap system where them "putting you on notice" is voluntary and they can benefit from FUD surrounding the uncertainty of the patents used in the product. Sounds like the government should require this disclose on products by companies that have patents, and patent licenses. Nov 20 at 21:19
  • But great answer, it's interesting to me that there is no reference for "Patented routing principle The spiral cutter rotates and oscillates to create perfect mortises." and everyone seems to be willing to just take them at their word. Nov 20 at 21:20
  • There is a movement to require recording patent assignments at the USPTO but none that I know of to require marking although there is incentive to mark and penalties for mis-marking. In Festool's case it does seem that they are open about several applications and issued patents. If you were planning a competing product a small part of the budget could go to a very competent search by a professional. Nov 20 at 22:07

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