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I saw a similar question, but wanted a more detailed answer re: Patent Expired Due to NonPayment of Maintenance Fees Under 37 CFR 1.362

I was about to file a patent when I saw a very similar idea which had expired due to non-payment several years ago. I don't know why manufacturers have not utilized the idea. Perhaps because the technology didn't exist to implement the idea during the time-frame that the patent was active.

Can I submit a similar idea with a few changes due to advancements in technology and get it patented?

If not, can I publish a paper with my own upgraded designs and pitch it to manufacturers for licensing privileges?

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Your "a few changes" need to add up to creating something new and non-obvious in light of that patent and everything ever published or patented ever up until the day you file in order to get a patent on them. If you have published your design for all to see and not filed a patent what would a manufacture be licensing? What recourse would you have to try to stop someone who read your publication and started doing it without you? One answer, absent a patent, can be a trade secret or know-how. But if the publication explains everything in detail not much would be secret. –  George White Jul 12 '14 at 23:03

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