Can I get a patent on an old abandoned patent? 3 Answers as of October 18, 2010I already applied for a provisional patent before I discovered this. But I found a very similar patent for my product from 1977. It shows up as abandoned. What does this mean? Can I apply for a patent now because it has been 20 years?
Devon & Associates | Marcia A. Devon
No, you cannot apply for a patent because it has been 20 years since an application was abandoned. "Abandoned" means the applicant(s) of patent application did not respond to the U.S. Patent Office for a variety of reasons. I recommend you explain to a patent attorney the difference(s) between your design and the one in the abandoned patent application to determine if you have anything of value.
Answer Applies to: California