Raleigh, NC asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for North Carolina

Q: My patent is expired, Am I entitled to monetary compensation over the years from others who used it?

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Pittsboro, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Step 1 -- A person can sue for damages for infringement that are within the last six years before the suit was followed (unless some other special rule applies). See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/35/286

Step 2 -- US Patent No 5,116,098 expired for failure to pay maintenance fees May 26, 1996 as the first of three maintenance fees were not paid by the 4 year deadline. Per USPTO PAIR system.

Even if you had paid the maintenance fees, the patent would have expired by the later of May 26, 2009 or May 29, 2010 under the transitional rules for patent term. So even if you could undo the problem with paying the issue fee (which may be possible but difficult under the unintentional rules), there would not be anything after February 22, 2012 to sue about.

I hope this helps.

Sorry it is not the answer you were looking for.

Kevin E Flynn

A: US Patent 5116098 expired in 1996. Unfortunately, too much time has passed to recover past damages.

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