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How can I tell regarding a USPTO published application (that does not appear to be granted) whether is has been rejected by the USPTO or rather may still become granted? I am seeing a published application several years old, and would like to determine whether it may still get granted or not.

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You can check a patent application's status and prosecution history by going to the USPTO's Public PAIR.

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Thanks. I can indeed see there that the status is "abandoned". So I assume this means this application can never be granted. –  matt Apr 11 '13 at 14:03
    
A bit awkward though that the application number showing in the application text on USPTO needs to be entered in the PAIR page as the "publication number", and not as the application number there. Thanks again. –  matt Apr 11 '13 at 14:06
    
The number in bold at the top of the document is the publication number and is assigned at the time of publication. When initially filed every application gets an application number. It is also on the front page but not as prominently. It is on the left. Every application has an application number but not every application is published. Sometimes the USPTO calls the application number a serial number. PAIR can be unforgiving in requiring the number to be in the format it expects so if it says there is no such application be sure you do not have "US" in front of the number and watch your "/"s. –  George White Apr 11 '13 at 17:46
    
Also, it is possible for the applicant to petition to revive an abandoned application on the grounds of "unavoidable" or "unintentional". There is not a hard and fast time limit but I understand the USPTO routinely grants the petition if it hasn't been more than 2 years. So an abandoned application can come back to life. –  George White Apr 11 '13 at 17:49
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