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The two patents in question are the following: the claim 1 is the one that is similar

(new one)

https://www.google.com/patents/US20130032594?dq=ininventor:%22Jeremy+Smith%22+active+cover+plate&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qpBNVO6EJsf4yQTkooGIBg&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAQ

and (older)

https://www.google.com/patents/US4617613?dq=Illuminated+electrical+outlet+cover+plate&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uJFNVNz8FIS7yQST3YGgCA&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAQ

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    The new one is a patent application, not an active" issued patent. In general, the correct analysis is the old reference's total teaching vs the new one's claims. The fact that the old one is an expired patent is not relevant to its value as prior art. – George White Oct 27 '14 at 2:45
  • I just noticed that it wasnt granted patent, however this one(link below) is a granted patent and its claim 1 is also similar to the expired one and the new application one i mentioned above . google.com/patents/… – user11780 Oct 27 '14 at 3:58
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If by negate you mean that the new application and its claims are not going to be granted then it will depend on whether the patent examiner at the USPTO will also detect and consider the old application as disclosing the claims of the new application.

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A representative claim from the new patent is:

  1. A cover for an electrical receptacle comprising: a faceplate; a first transmission tab configured to be electrically connected to a first power line of the electrical receptacle; a second transmission tab configured to be electrically connected to a second power line of the electrical receptacle; and a device in communication with the first transmission tab and the second transmission tab; wherein at least one of the first and the second transmission tabs is configured as an elongated, rigid or semi-flexible tab extending from a back side of the faceplate; and wherein the at least one transmission tab comprises one or more conductive surface structures configured to face a conductive portion of the electrical receptacle.

A representative claim from the older patent is:

  1. An illuminated cover plate for replacing a non-illuminated cover plate of an electrical outlet, said outlet having at least one electrical outlet device with at least one feed terminal screw head and a grounded support bracket, comprising a body portion molded from a dielectrical plastic material having; openings formed for receiving a portion of the electrical outlet device, one or more tentacular electrical conductors with spring properties mounted on an insulator on the back of the cover plate, the tentacular electrical conductors located and designed in such a manner as to make proper automatic electrical contact with at least one feed terminal screw head on the electrical outlet device when installed on the outlet with the same attachment means used for the non-illuminated cover plate, one or more tantacular electrical conductors with spring properties mounted on the back of the cover plate and located and designed in such a manner as to make proper automatic electrical contact with the grounded electrical outlet support bracket when installed on the outlet with the same attachment means used for the non-illuminated cover plate, an illuminating device on the cover plate connected by an appropriate electric circuit to the feed and ground pick-up tentacular electrical conductors.

I do not agree that the claims are especially similar. Both are directed to electrical wall outlets, certainly, but each has significantly different features from the other.

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