Can an expired patent's design be used again by a family member? 2 Answers as of October 27, 2014

If a 15 year old expired patent's oval design entailed the actual faces of the 3 previous patent owners within it, could the patent be obtained by a family member of one of the 3 men and be utilized in the very same manner in which it was 20 years ago? As the oval patent was the center of the label on the product being sold? Also, would the previous owners have to be legally notified of said intentions and/or be required to sign a legal document relinquishing themselves from having any/all rights to any future profits earned by the new patent holder? I'm starting a new company and I need to find 2 patent lawyers whose advice mimic each other.

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Webb IP Law Group
Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
You cannot renew patents like that. If it were a trademark, you might be able to renew it. Based on your description, I don't think it was a patent.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 10/27/2014
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
Your question seems a little vague, but. Once a patent has expired the patent is in the public domain and anyone can copy the invention without royalty. Once a patent expires it can't be renewed unless there is some novel improvement. It does not matter if it is family member or not.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/27/2014
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