Patent No US5350471 "Production of cross-laminated film from tube" was given patent in year 1993 now in 2013 this patent will automatically expire as it completing 20 years. Can this patent be re-patented?


A patent cannot be "re-patented" once it has completed its lifespan. Patents are granted to inventors of new things. Once published, whatever the patent describes is "old" from then on. The actual expiration date may be different from exactly 20 years, processing time and/or other extensions to its term may be applicable. The USPTO Public PAIR site will provide more details about a specific patent. Note that other patents may exist, or may be filed later, based on some or all of the same technology described in this patent. The entire text and drawings of a published patent become "Prior Art" which should, in effect, prevent later patents from making claims that are "taught" in that document. There is also a prohibition on double patenting - however, sometimes clever lawyer-speak can obfuscate claims and it could slip by the USPTO.

You could also end up with families of patents with minor differences in claims, which would appear to cover the same end product or method. A good way to track these is by using the original "application number" and following it through the PAIR site to find any other derivative patents based upon it, as well as off the patent itself. Searching by the inventors' name(s) can also turn up other applications/patents which may be similar.

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