The Patent Professor is available to help you with all of your patent needs, whether you need help filling out forms on an application, need to determine whether or not you should proceed with your application, or you are managing your patent after it has been filed. Patents are issued for a set term, after which the legal protections granted to the inventor or patent-holder no longer apply. There are various lengths of time that patents are issued depending on the date of filing and the type of patent, and in some instances, may be eligible for an extension. However, although some patents in certain situations may be eligible for an extension, patents cannot be renewed. If you need legal protections for longer than the term of your patent, then you may need to look into the different protections and terms that a Trademark of a Copyright can give you. Read more about the various factors that go into patent term lengths and possible extensions below, and contact The Patent Professor today to receive professional help from a patent attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping clients with all matters pertaining to the US patent process.

How Long Does a US Patent Last?

There are a few different factors that go into how long a patent will last; most importantly, the type of patent. As long as you pay the maintenance fees for your patent, you will have legal protection for your intellectual property for the length of time stated below.

Utility Patent Term Length

If you filed for your patent on or after June 8, 1995, then your utility patent will last for 20 years as long as you maintain your patent as necessary. If you filed for your patent before June 8, 1995, then your utility patent will last for either 17 years from when it was issued, or 20 years from when you submitted your application, whichever is the longer of the two.

Plant Patent Term Length

Plant patents filed or issued at any time are given term lengths of 20 years provided that all maintenance fees are paid on time and consistently.

Design Patent Term Length

If you filed for your design patent on or after May 15, 1995, then your design patent is issued with a 15-year term. If you filed for your patent before this date, then there is a 14-year term. Regardless of the length of time that a patent is initially issued with, it will not be allowed to run the full term if the patent is not properly maintained by the owner.

Can a Patent Be Renewed?

Patents are not renewable, and once they expire the intellectual property is able to be used by anyone. The purpose of a patent is not to grant exclusive use in perpetuity, but to reward the innovator or inventor with a period of time where they are able to capitalize on their work before competitors are able to utilize the same innovations. In some cases, a patent holder may be allowed to file for an extension due to specific circumstances.

Filing For a Patent Extention

In some cases, you may be able to extend the term of your patent. Most commonly, extensions are granted to pharmaceutical patents because of how long it takes for clinical trials to allow public consumption of the compound in question. In other cases, a patent may be extended because the application took unreasonably long to be completed on behalf of the USPTO. In these cases, we will work directly with the Patent Office in order to determine an appropriate extension given the circumstances that caused the delay.

Provisional Application for Patents

In some cases, an inventor may be able to utilize a provisional application for their patent as a one-year extension by submitting the provisional application and getting an extra year to focus on research and development, testing, and other necessary work. During this year, you will be able to complete your full application and then have a full term after your patent is filed, in addition to the year you had under the provisional application.

Contact The Patent Professor Today

If you have any questions or specific issues pertaining to patents, patent applications, extensions, or anything else, contact The Patent Professor today to work directly with a patent lawyer in Florida. Our 20+ years of experience will be a great help to you no matter what your situation is, and we look forward to assisting you.