Delray Beach, FL asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Florida

Q: Patents are granted to CYTOVIA how long is the patent in effect

3 Lawyer Answers

John Rizvi

  • Patents Lawyer
  • Coral Springs, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: A U.S. utility patent is good for 20 years after filing.

On the other hand, a U.S. Design patent is valid for 14 years after issuance.

Kevin E. Flynn

  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: Patent term is more confusing than it should be. Unfortunately, to try to make things fair, the rules have a number of layers.

Old patents had a term of 17 years from when they issued. New rules are that apply to patent applications filed after June 8, 1995 are 20 years from the first non-provisional patent application. So you ignore the filing date of the provisional application (if any) and look to the oldest non-provisional patent application in the chain of priority. Some applications claim priority back to an earlier non-provisional application via a divisional application, continuation application, or continuation-in-part application.

There are several things that can change this default 20 year term

1) Patent Term Adjustment -- These are bonus days added to the end of the term to make up for the Patent Office being slow in doing their job. This is printed on the patent.

2) There are extra days added to things undergoing certain types of regulatory review such as at the FDA. The thought is that patent days should not tick off the clock while you are not allowed to sell the product.

3) Sometimes two patent applications are deemed similar by the patent office and they tie the end date of the second application to the end date of the first application. This is called a terminal disclaimer and rarely has a huge impact due to the new 20 year rule.

4) The patent may expire early if the patent owner does not pay a renewal fee by start of years 4, 8, and 12. This fee is called a maintenance fee. You can see the status using Public PAIR

Finally, with respect to design patents. John is correct that for many years the term of a design patent was 14 years from issuance. However, for design patents filed after May 13, 2015 the term is 15 years from issuance. (No maintenance fees, no Patent term adjustment)

Peter D. Mlynek

  • Patents Lawyer
  • Moorestown, NJ

A: If you are talking about their core patents for illumination optics, US 7,542,203 and US 7,564,623, then it is likely July 15, 2025, and April 16, 2024, respectively.

If you are talking about any of the other dozens of patents, you are going to have to let us know which patents you are talking about.

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