I came up with an idea several years ago and developed it to the stage of production and sales. I would now like to patent it due to the fact another competitor has started manufacturing it and selling it too. I read somewhere that you cannot patent an item you have already sold and continue selling

Just wording if thats correct and if so is there another avenue I can explore


1 Answer 1


In the US you have a year grace period after your invention is made public, published, sold etc. to file for a patent it.

In most of the world you don’t get that but need to file before e posing the invention.

If you have established a trademark that can help but trademarks are off topic here.

  • 1
    So I totally messed up by not patenting it within the grace period
    – Oden
    Aug 22, 2022 at 12:33
  • 1
    @Oden Yes, you can't obtain a patent. That said, it is possible there are reasons your invention might not have been patentable so don't beat yourself up.
    – Eric S
    Aug 22, 2022 at 16:57
  • If you could innovate a "next generation" version that was novel, kept its market, and was non-obvious to a P.H.O.S.I.T.A. , then you could patent that. You could even put down a provisional patent for it while you work with a capable patent attorney to make sure it holds good water. Jun 13, 2023 at 18:53
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    @EngrStudent Obligatory - “no such thing as a provisional patent only provisional patent application.”
    – George White
    Jun 14, 2023 at 1:23
  • @GeorgeWhite - you are ABSOLUTELY right. sorry about that. Jun 14, 2023 at 3:17

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