Patent expiration


#1 Sep 20, 2010
I have heard conflicting opinions on this issue and, hopefully, someone can provide me with a conclusive answer:

1) A patent application was filed in 1991,
2) A patent was issued in 1993,

Can anyone please inform me if this is a 17 or 20 year term and when it expires?

Also, what is a terminal disclaimer and can this extend a term?


#2 Oct 25, 2010
For patents filed prior to June 8, 1995, the term of patent is either 20 years from the earliest claimed filing date or 17 years from the issue date, whichever is longer. Extensions may also be had for various administrative delays.(The exact date of termination may be zealously litigated, especially where daily profits from a patent amount to millions of dollars, e.g., pharmaceuticals.)

For terminal disclaimer, please see: .

To answer your question if a terminal disclaimer can extend a term, the answer is no. If you asked, however, "Can a term of a claim that was subject to a terminal disclaimer be extended?", then the answer is yes.

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