can anyone tell me when the 5971475 patent expires? Thanks!
The patent issued on 10/26/99. The patent was filed on 12/4/97, but has a priority date of 12/5/96 due to the benefit of prior filed Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/032,110.
Based on 2701 Patent Term
this patent falls under the "on or after 6/8/95 rule" which is 20 years from the priority date. So that would be 12/5/16.
If the priority date had been prior to 6/8/95, then its expiration would have been the later of the 20 years from the priority date or 17 years from the date of issuance. So this would be the later of 12/5/16 or 10/26/16 so would still end up being 12/5/16 in this situation.
There are other reasons the patent could expire, such as not paying maintenance fees, but this patent appears to have had its maintenance fees paid in a timely manner (according to Google Patents "legal events" section).
George, is there something tricky about this patent or its history? You know this stuff much better than I so I'm sure I'm missing something.