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Patent protection granted by various patent and trademark office is twenty years (from the date of filing). To enjoy the benefits of a patent, the patentee has to pay renewal fees on time. The renewal fee must be paid before the expiration of the second year from the date of the patent. The renewal fee is paid before the end of each succeeding year, or the patent will expire. Patents filed in India via PCT have a term calculated from the date of international filing of the application, but the renewal fee is only applicable after the patent has been granted.
Failing to pay the renewal fees on time will lead to patent being lapsed. That can bring many losses to the organization. Patent being lapsed is a sources of huge revenue losses for company because now their invention lies in the public domain without any protection and anyone can use that without paying any royalty. That’s why it is crucial to restore the lapsed patent as soon as possible.
The patentee has time frame of 18 months from the date of lapse/cessation, to file an application to restore the lapsed patent.
The patentee must submit a petition to the Patent Office controller for restoration of the patent; however, the patentee must provide a reason proving that delay to pay the fees was completely unintentional and you could have maintained it in smooth functioning if anything unusual haven’t happened to you during the time frame of renewal fees. If the Controller is satisfied with the reason and evidence that the failure to pay renewal fees was unintentional, the application and patent will be published in the official record, and the patent rights will be restored.
With a brief explanation that the error was accidental, unintentional and the payment of a fee, lapsed patents may be reinstated in the U.S. during the first two years following an “unintentional” non-payment of a maintenance fee for a granted patent.
A patent cannot be restored after it has expired. A patent that has expired cannot be picked up, either. The invention enters the public domain after a patent expires.
Others will be free to utilize and commercialize your idea; your intellectual property will become public domain; you could stop getting payments from connected patents. Licensing deals including patents won’t be valid anymore.
If the patentee does not pay the renewal fee by the deadline, the granted patent lapses. Within 18 months of the date of lapse or cessation, the patentee may apply to reinstate the expired patent.