Patent and Invention Help Forum

Expired Patent

Expired Patent
« on: September 03, 2015, 03:58:35 PM »
Hello all.....I basically copied a bracket that the patent expired on approximately 18 months ago. I made some minor changes to improve the product. My question is, can I now patent this again for my own protection as I am in a position to distribute this with other non patented products I currently sell customers or is this considered free to all in the public? I appreciate any and all responses.
Mike

Brad

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Re: Expired Patent
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 10:07:40 AM »
Hi Mike,

It look like you have two questions (my response in red below):

1)  Can you patent your own product that has minor changes to an already known or patented bracket?
Yes.  If your changes are both new and non-obvious then you should be able to get your own patent on this new/improved bracket.  However, if the changes are very minor like making it longer or shorter than you probably will not be able to get your own patent allowed. 

2)  Is an expired patent free for the public to use?
Yes.  If the patent is expired it is free for everyone to make and sell that invention that was claimed in that expired patent.  However, its always a good idea to have a patent attorney review this for you to make sure there are no other related patents that cover this product.  This is called a "Freedom to Operate Search" and some firms will charge a few thousand dollars for this type of work.


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Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.

Re: Expired Patent
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 02:42:40 PM »
My question is if I tried to file a patent years ago but never finished it, can I now start over as if it was something new? No one has ever done anything with it and Im not sure how to find out how far it went, or what to do next.

Brad

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Re: Expired Patent
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 03:41:23 PM »
It depends on if your idea is still secret or if your old patent app was published online.  If your idea is still secret, unpublished, and if you never sold any units than you should still be able to file a new patent application assuming that you never really abandoned your invention.

My free patent template: https://patentfile.org/free-provisional-patent-template/

Hire Me:  https://patentfile.org/packages/

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.

Re: Expired Patent
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2021, 06:30:53 AM »
My question is if I tried to file a patent years ago but never finished it, can I now start over as if it was something new? No one has ever done anything with it and Im not sure how to find out how far it went, or what to do next.

As stated above, if your invention never made it into the public demain (by any means whatsoever), then you may be able to apply for protection.
If you want to find out if it was published, search online with the granting authority, using your name as the applicant (assuming you file dit in your name). If you find it, then it has been published, and applying for the same subject matter could be considerd a waste of money, as your own applicaiton will be used against you to destroy novelty. As a former EPO examiner of 14 years, there was no better source of prior art than the applicants own portfolio.

 

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