Does the 1995 patent reform apply to all patents or just those filed after that date? 4 Answers as of December 02, 2010

I work for a small company, and the patent on one of our products is about to expire. I read that patent law changed in 1995 to allow you to keep a patent for 20 years instead of 17. We obtained this patent in 1994. Can we extend it because of the newer law or does the old one still apply because our patent is from before 1995?

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Kafantaris Law Group
Kafantaris Law Group | Theo Kafantaris
All patents before that date get either 17 years from issue or 20 years from filing, whichever is longer. All patents after that date get 20 years from filing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/2/2010
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
All patents filed before that date get the longer of 17 years from date of issue or 20 yrs from date of filing. Everything thereafter gets 20 years from date of filing.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/24/2010
Rhema Law Group
Rhema Law Group | John D. Tran
Patents that were filed after June 7, 1978 and issued before June 8, 1995. These applications have a term that is the longer of the two following options:

1) 17 years from the issue date of the application, or 2) 20 years from the earliest filing date.

The term "earliest filing date" means that if the patent application in question is a continuation or divisional application of an earlier US application (the "parent" application), then the filing date of the "parent" is the earliest filing date and is used for calculating the patent term.

In addition, if the application in question is a US nationalization of a PCT application, than the PCT application filing date is used as the earliest filing date.

If the application of interest claims priority to a provisional patent application, the provisional application filing date is not considered to be the earliest filing date.

If the application is a US nationalization of a PCT application that was first filed in another (foreign) country, the PCT filing date is considered to be the earliest filing date, not the date of the prior foreign filing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/24/2010
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
In 1995 the US law changed such that the life of a patent which has issued from a patent application filed on or after June 8, 1995 is 20 years from the filing date of the patent application. The life of a patent that has been issued from a patent application filed before June 8, 1995 is 17 years from the date of the issue date. Your patent was issued in 1994 which means that its corresponding patent application must have been filed before June 8, 1995. Therefore, the term of your patent is 17 years from the date of issue, i.e., 1994 + 17 = 2011. For additional information you may visit our website or contact us for a free initial consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/23/2010
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