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Messages - SteveJ

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PatentFile Website Questions and Reviews / Re: Expired Patent
« 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.

This is a common questions and I have seen attorneys argue either for or against copying from other patents.  In theory patents are supposed to be in the public domain so many don't see anything wrong with copying from them.

My personal (non-legal opinion) is that you should not copy word for word and at least try to re-phrase and re-word things a bit.

That's gret advice. As an ex-EPO examiner, finding chunks of copied text didn't ring alarm bells, but it made it a lot easier to know where to search, or more pertinently, to know how to attack an application using the document from which text had been copied.

The idea of basing an applicaiton on a previous patent is how devlopment works. Indeed, you are required to cite the closest prior art in the European application process, and this is often someone else's patent. You add, amend, or improve sections of it to invent something new for which patent protection can then be sought. Just try not to copy word for word!

As stated, you can withdraw an applicaiton, as long as it has not yet been searched or published (whereby applicaitons are published after search). This will allow you to reapply with that subject matter at a later date.

Filing a PCT application can be done and priority can be claimed as stated. You do, indeed, have 12 months.

You might want to reconsider you strategy, though. Going through the PCT route gives you an opinion (not a patent) to the patentability fo your applicaiton. This is useful if you, then, go and apply for a full patent. However, if you intention is patent protection throughout Europe, it may be cheaper to use your current applicaiotn as prior art of an EP filing. This will save you the costs of the PCT applicaiton, which are not an insignificant amount. It all depends, though, on what you want to achieve.

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