So I was designing a front end for a 16bit ADC and had settled on a design and preliminary values. I decided to google around and see if any other designs could help me make things better when I stumbled upon a project that used the exact same parts with the exact same intent but with different descrete values.
This project I found was for an old product from 2004 that the company had open sourced the hardware for but previously it was closed source.
My question is simple. When you are designing something and it is very close to a competitors design and you are both using that design for the same purpose, are you liable for intilectual property infringement? I do not want to design something and start selling it to find out a year later bigOrg LTD. Holds IP rights on that "style & usage" of said part and I owe them $5M...
This might not seem to happen that often but I have run into it twice so far. I designed a logic analizer and to scale the unknown 0-7V input into the TTL range of my buffer I made a 1M/5M/1M divider between 5V and GND, input with a 330ohm resistor and 10pf cap to my buffer. I got to these values using spice and making a way to really ram in a logic change without going over specs. About 6 months later my buddy sent me a hack on the ZeroPlus Logic Cube and they use that exact layout with only two resistors of different value.