My father was granted a GB patent on an invention in 1983. The patent ceased through non-payment of renewal fee in 1989. Can I claim this patent and how would I go about it?
A patent is not an ordinary property - it is a negative right that during the term of the patent, you can prevent others from practicing the invention disclosed. Once the term is over, the right does not exist and the 'property' vanishes. So after the term is over, there is no way that anybody can claim that property. Ashok
Patents are personal property (Patents Act 1977 (UK) s 30(1)). On the owner's death, ownership will therefore pass according to the laws of the jurisdiction in which the owner's estate is administered.
However, the patent is now long expired. Moreover, because any offences infringement while it was validly occured far longer than six years ago (Limitation Act 1980 (England/Wales)), there are likely no rights remaining attached to the patent, in any case.