When initially filing your patent you should be prepared to have only the standard 20-year protection offered by a U.S. patent. There are very few cases in which a patent renewal is granted, and these cases must be validated by a special act of Congress. These 3 cases mostly involve the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the patent application process.
Case 1: The USPTO Held Up Your Patent Application
During your patent application process, some inventors experience the unnecessary delay of their application during the approval process. This may have happened for a variety of reasons, but the final result is that you have lost unnecessary time in the life of your patent. If you can prove that the approval process was unnecessarily held up by the USPTO, you can attempt to file for a patent renewal.
Case 2: The USPTO Did Not Make a Reasonably Timed Determination
When a patent reaches the stage of determination, the USPTO would be found unreasonable if they did not submit a final result within 3 years of the application submission. The time spent in delaying the determination is considered to be time lost in putting your patented item to use.
Case 3: There Was Undue Delay Because of Interference
Interference is when two inventors attempt to patent the same invention at the same time. This is not caused by the USPTO, but they do govern the analysis of the situation and can further delay the patent application process. Again, time lost during that delay can be considered time lost in your patent life and may be eligible for patent renewal.
Patent Renewal Times and Process
The time it takes to process patent renewal can be from several months to more than a year before you receive a determination. Patent renewal should not be confused with the fees required to maintain your patent, which are sometimes called “renewal fees” when paid.
Remember that it takes an act of Congress to obtain patent renewal, and that is only in very rare cases. To achieve this, you should seek the help of a legal team with California patent attorneys skilled in filing for special patent renewals.
Hiring California Patent Attorneys
If you believe your patent life was unnecessarily cut short by USPTO proceedings or interference with another patent, you may be one of the few rare cases where patent renewal may be granted.
The California patent attorneys at the ADLI Law Group P.C. have formed lasting relationships with inventors across Los Angeles County and around the globe. Contact us today for experienced help with protecting your patents – 213-290-4933.