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Can you re-file a patent for an idea that has a status of "Abandoned -- Failure to Respond to an Office Action"?

Can you do this even if you didn't originally file the patent?

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No -- Patents are to encourage and reward inventors of new things. I presume you are not the original inventor of the technology in question. Now that it has been published, anyone who came up with it now would not be coming up with something new.

The owner of an abandoned patent application in the US can petition to have it revived on the basis that the non-response causing the abandonment was unintential. If it is not revived then you or anyone else could make, sell, and import the invention.

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  • Thanks for the quick answer. You are correct. I'm not the original inventor. The owner of the patent is a company and I was thinking of buying the company to restart the patent process. The patent was abandoned due to no response by the company. Do you think it's possible to restart the patent by buying the company? – James Oct 15 '14 at 3:05
  • Someone who was involved with the application at the time it went abandoned would need to be able to establish that the abandonment was unintentional - the longer it has been abandoned, the worse. If the USPTO did allow the company to revive and a patent was eventually issued it might be viewed as vulnerable. There may well be correspondence between the company and their patent practitioner discussing the decision to let it go. If you are serious, you'll need to consult a patent attorney. – George White Oct 15 '14 at 5:47
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You can't file a patent that you think are abandoned or expired. But if you really want to patent an invention similar what's already patented. Probably, you could file an improvement patent application. You can add something new to the existing patent, new technology or new use perhaps.

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You wouldn't have to buy the company. Just buy the abandoned application. As the assignee, you will be able to revive the abandoned application. That is, if the application can be revived. Since an abandoned patent application is almost valueless to the original owner, you should be able to acquire it very inexpensively.

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  • this response seems to contradict previous responses. Other responses indicate you cannot revive an abandoned patent unless you were the original inventor, although you can manufacture and market the product – Duane Mellott Aug 9 '17 at 15:03

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