Q: Can I get this re-instated to a full utility patent? -had no idea about the maintenance fees and it has apparently lapse
Fortunately, this particular error is a well-trod path and the USPTO is fairly generous in allowing you to fix this situation.
So in addition to the regular maintenance fee, and the small late fee for not paying in the first half of the year-long window, you will need to pay a fee to revive a patent unintentionally abandoned for failure to timely pay a maintenance fee. This is a $2000 extra fee but you are likely to qualify as a small entity with a 50% discount or a micro entity with a 75% discount.
The process gets more complicated if you get beyond two years after the final deadline for the fee. Your deadline was April 4, 2016 so you are coming up on that date.
NOTE -- That when you file to say that the delay is unintentional, that means that ALL the delay is unintentional. Now that you know you need to act, you need to get this fixed. You cannot wait for weeks and weeks as that part of the delay would not be unintentional.
You need to contact your patent attorney and sort out why you did not get asked about paying this fee. There are two more fees due if you want to keep your patent for the full term.
You can find additional information on the process at these two USPTO pages.
I hope this helps.
Kevin E Flynn
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