JD Supra

When Does A Patent Expire?

Most would say 20 years from its effective filing date, unless the USPTO calculated a patent term adjustment. Calculating this date often proves easy: the face of the patent typically shows its earliest effective filing date and the expiration date falls on the 20th anniversary of that filing date. But sometimes it takes a rare fact pattern to make us realize the answer to such a seemingly simple question may not be so simple.

To illustrate, what if a patentee asserted its patent on the 20th anniversary of its effective filing date? Better yet, what if a patentee asserted its patent on the sixth anniversary of the 20th anniversary of its effective filing date?[1] When specifically does the patent expire, and did the patentee file its complaint within the statutory period to seek damages?

Source: JD Supra

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