Patent pending on product I designed.

So, I saw a product online that I thought was a good idea. It’s a pretty simple concept, not a new invention or anything totally different. It’s just a wooden shelf with an interesting design. I decided to change the design slightly to make it easier to pack. I also got someone to check if the design was patented or not – it was not.

I found a manufacturer and gave them my design, had samples made, decided on a final product. I ordered a few hundred to be made (which should be ready any day now).

Yesterday I searched some keywords online and found that a company had just launched a product 2 weeks ago that uses my EXACT design. In their description they wrote that the design was “patent pending”. Obviously I’m pretty surprised and disappointed…

So my question is… what does this mean for me now? I understand that patent pending doesn’t mean that it’s been granted. But will this cause me any problems if I launch my product? Also, it’s a very common product, just with a little variation. Is it even possible to get a patent on such a product?

Thanks in advance for any answers.

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