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Some of these patents have been patent back in the mid 1900's. How do I know if these people are still alive? And if not, how can I take over the patent? Are the patents moved on to the next family member?

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I meant inventor of the idea* – user8719 May 27 '14 at 18:48
You can edit your post by clicking "edit" to change that. I suggested that now as an edit. If you agree with my edit, you can click "Approve". If you disagree with it, choose "Reject". – ProgramFOX May 27 '14 at 18:49
Patents expire in either 17 years from issue or 20 years from application. – George White May 27 '14 at 23:56

If the patent was issued in the mid 1900's, then the patent is long expired. No one can "take over" the patent because the patent information is now in the public domain and free for everyone to use.

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