I'm sure patents are violated all the time by people that custom fabricate anything imaginable. Until you start mass producing something that is the same every time it generally goes unnoticed.
It is quite easy to get a patent as long as you are willing to spend the money on people that do it for a living. A lot of patent examiners and patent attorneys make a living off of mostly dubious patents filed on behalf of their clients. Defending a patent is something else entirely though. having said that, being able to say it is patented or patent pending is another marketing tool. It makes the product sound innovative, and does provide at least some limited protection.
I wondered about the plastic box thing. I can only imagine how long these things will last bolted to the outside of a vending machine.
I wish the OP the best in his endeavour but having seen several of these kind of things fizzle on people, I am not convinced I will be seeing this product real soon on a vending machine near me. OTOH, I have been wrong before.
I also wonder how many patents he is infringing on in making the keypads.
Last edited by hbiss; 09-06-12 at 06:12 PM.
Per UL508A, 44.2, components and any wiring inside a class 2 circuit does not need to be evaluated. Im not sure how this would affect other types of UL listed equipment, but that may be why a computer keyboard and other type of low voltage type of equipment may not have a UL mark. I have built listed panels with non UL listed or recognized equipment. All I had to do was to protect it with a listed power supply or a GFCI.