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What is the status of United States Patent, patent number 5,730,925 with date of patent Mar. 24, 1998? It has US005730925A written under the bar code.The title is "Method and Apparatus For Producing a Three-Dimensional Object" It was filed on Apr. 18, 1996 and has Appl. No. 634,171. According to Espacenet on 2009/09/14 there was a fee payment for the payment year 12. Further related to it is EPO738584. The designated countries seem to be DE (Germany), FR (France), GB (Great Britain) and IT (Italy). The last fee payment had effective date 29.05.2015 was postgrant annual fees paid to national office GB. The year of fee payment was 20 Is the patent only valid in the designated countries mentioned? As far as the United States is concerned is it just a publication of a patent application? Does it have any legal effect in the United States?

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Speaking of the U.S. patent. The patent was issued, and had its 12th year fees paid in 2009. Using the patent term calculator from the USPTO's site, and ignoring any potential patent term extensions (PTEs), the expiration date is 4/18/2016. This merely means that the patent won't expire prior to that date, but might well expire at a later date due patent term extensions, terminal disclaimers if any, etc. You'd need to consult an attorney to get a date that you could make business decisions on.

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