In reference to the patent: US6667877

Google says the fees are lapsed on this patent. IS this still enforceable?


According to the US Public Pair, this patent's status is "Patent Expired Due to NonPayment of Maintenance Fees Under 37 CFR 1.362" as of 01-21-2008. While there might theoretically be a way to pay those fees and reinstate the patent, considering its been almost 10 years, I kind of doubt they will do so. According to the USPTO, here are the rules for trying to reinstate an expired patent due to nonpayment of fees.

Reinstate an expired patent

If a maintenance fee has not been paid in a timely manner and the owner of the patent wants to get the patent rights reinstated, a petition and proper fees are required.

What are the petition requirements?

Any petition to accept an unintentionally delayed payment of a maintenance fee must include:

  1. the required maintenance fee set forth in § 1.20(e) through (g)

  2. the petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(m)

  3. a statement that the delay in payment of the maintenance fee was unintentional

  4. be signed in compliance with § 1.33(b).

I think it may be hard to justify over nine years of nonpayment as unintentional although I suppose they could try. I am not a lawyer so there may be more to this and I hope one of the patent attorneys that contribute will provide more information.

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