Pompano Beach, FL asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Florida

Q: I have a display patent from 1993 I'd like to know if there's some way I can update it ?

4 Lawyer Answers
Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig
Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Los Gatos, CA

A: Sadly no. Patents typically have a maximum lifetime of about 20 years from the filing date. Although this can be adjusted a bit for delays at the USPTO, usually, the adjustments are only for a few months or years.

A 1993 patent era patent is likely long expired, is probably public domain. Although you can try to think up a new invention in the same area, keep in mind that the USPTO will use the original 1993 patent against your new idea.

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

Liliana Di Nola-Baron
Liliana Di Nola-Baron
Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Washington, DC

A: If your patent issued in 1993 it expired in 2010, unless its term was extended by the USPTO because of delays in prosecution or for other reasons.

If you want to update your invention, you will need to file a new patent application, but your changes will need to be novel and non-obvious over your original patent and any additional intervening prior art.

You should consult a patent attorney.

Marcos Garciaacosta and Kevin E. Flynn agree with this answer

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

A: I am not sure what you mean by update. If you mean "renew", then the answer is no. You can renew other types of intellectual property, but patents have a limited life. (they can end even earlier if you fail to pay a maintenance fee).

If you mean "update" as in file a version 2.0 of your idea--same field--but a dramatic new level of performance and features, then you can file a new application just as anyone can. You will need to show an inventive step over all the prior art including your old patent. (Inventive step is a more natural way of saying being non-obvious).

The Bell patent for the telephone was filed more than 100 years ago. People continued to file patents on improvements to the telephone in each of those 100 years and are continuing to do so today. There may be room for you to obtain another patent on a display.

I hope that this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: As indicated it is possible expired, but you can file a new patent complying with the rules, which is to be novel and not obvious.

consult with an attorney.

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