According to Time magazine and Gizmodo, 49% share in the patent US2292387 A has been acquired by Wi-Lan in 1998. The patent publication date is 11 Aug 1942, which means it should have expired on 11 Aug 1962. How is such an extension possible?

1 Answer 1


Such an extension is not possible.

The Time article makes this slightly clearer: (emphasis added)

…in 1998, Wi-LAN bought 49% of Lamarr’s claim to the lapsed patent

A patent can be assigned after expiry. Such an assignment really only assigns the right to sue other parties for infringement that occurred before the patent lapsed.

In this case, I can't really see the value in Wi-LAN's acquisition. Perhaps just marketing?

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