© 2012-2013 by Stephen L. Keefe
The current U.S. patent term extends twenty years from filing (not issue), with possible Patent Term Adjustment for prolonging patent term for patent prosecution delays due to USPTO backlog, or for deducting patent term for patent prosecution delays due to various slow responses on the Applicantís part. The patent term clock starts with nonprovisional patent application filing, so filing an earlier provisional application will not detract from overall patent term. The legal monopoly granted by a patent right ends with the end of a patentís term. Trying to contractually extend the legal power of a patent beyond its scope and term (e.g., by overreaching licensing agreements) could subject a patent owner to severe patent misuse or antitrust penalties. The best practice for patent owners to avoid conjuring up the specter of antitrust concerns is simply to always operate within the scope and term of their patent rights. U.S. and international law generally severely disfavor and potentially punish any overreaching beyond the legal monopoly granted by a patent.
Tappan Zee Bridge in New York
Return to Roadmap: