The original patent term under the 1790 Patent Act was decided individually for each patent, but "not exceeding fourteen years". 117, 119, 5) provided (in addition to the fourteen-year term) an extension "for the term of seven years from and after the expiration of the first term" in certain circumstances.
In 1861 the seven-year extension was eliminated and the term changed to seventeen years (12 Stat. The signing of the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreements Act then changed the patent term from seventeen years from the date of issue to the current twenty years from the earliest filing date.
As a side effect, it is no longer possible to maintain submarine patents in the U.
S., since the patent term now depends on the priority date, not the issue date.
Such a patent would expire earlier than 20 years after U. A reexamined patent expires on the day the original granted patent would have ordinarily expired.
Example: The validity of a patent (filing: January 1, 2000; issue: January 1, 2002; end: January 1, 2020) is challenged.
The USPTO issues a more restricted patent on January 1, 2004.
The reexamined patent is in force until January 1, 2020, assuming payment of all maintenance fees.
The design patent protects only the appearance of an article, but not its structural or functional features. Design patents have a shorter term than utility patents.Design patents filed on or after May 13, 2015 have a term of 15 years from issuance.Patents whose parents received extensions were eligible to file to receive a similar extension, because the claims they depended on were still protected.This has been discussed in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. 156(a), the term of a patent "shall be extended" after a series of provisions are satisfied.