Lincoln, NE asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Nebraska

Q: I designed and started selling a product. Others are now copying and selling it too. Is it too late to file a patent?

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: Assuming that you are seeking a US patent, then the rule is in 35 USC 102 https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/35/102 which was updated in March of 2013.

Under the current rules, any offer for sale (or sale) of your invention immediately ended your option to seek a US patent. A sale under a NDA would ruin your US options but not necessarily options in other countries.

If you make updates, you may be able to seek patent protection for the updates (especially design patents on the appearance) but your own product that you are selling now will be the closest prior art so it will be difficult.

Sorry.

Kevin E Flynn

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Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC

A: You have a year from the date you first made, used, sold or offered to sell it.

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