Fort Leonard Wood, MO asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Intellectual Property for Missouri

Q: I filed for and received a patent for a product I invented.

I would like to make another attempt to market my invention. I believe my patent expired and would like to know how I can bring it up to date or does someone else now own it?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Pittsboro, NC

A: If you had an issued Utility or Design patent and that patent expired at the end of the life of the patent, then that idea is part of what the public gets to use without paying patent royalties.

If your Utility patent lapsed as you unintentionally failed to pay a maintenance fee, then that can be revived with the payment of a substantial petition fee.

I run into people that talk about a provisional patent application as a provisional patent. It is not a patent, it is an application. But in case you are referencing a provisional patent application that lapsed after a year, then there is a good chance that you can still seek protection on the idea. You will need to discuss this with a patent attorney who will ask about public disclosures, public uses, offers for sale, and firm bids from suppliers to supply you with your product. If none of those things happened more than a year ago you may be in luck.

I hope that this helps.

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