Lapsed patents are patents that expired because the maintenance fee was not paid in due time.
Maintenance fees on US patents are due 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years after grant of the patent (in many other countries, they are due every year and are called annuities). US patents maintenance fees cannot be paid more than 6 months before the due date. They can be paid ...
EDIT The PLT has made parts of my answer no longer the state of the law
. A patent that has expired due to non-payment of maintenance fees can theoretically be revived by its owner by petition to the USPTO. The grounds are "unavoidable" and "unintentional". The criteria for establishing that it was unavoidable are a high bar:
(from 37 C.F.R. 1.378 ) 3) ...
In general, the owner would need to petition the USPTO to allow payment of the maintenance fee late on the grounds of "unavoidable" delay. An alternate reason, "unintentional" delay is easier but cannot be used after two years. In this specific case, the patent would have normally expired in 2012 anyway.
You should call a patent lawyer on this. The rules for reinstating applications should be readily familiar to a patent attorney.
I pulled up the application at http://portal.uspto.gov and it looks like it was deemed abandoned for failure to respond to an office action -- but the office action was a restriction requirement. This is a very simple type of ...
Patents are territorial rights and for limited period of time(i.e. 20 years). subject query patent was filed in 1992 granted in 1994 and expired way back. Since your Mother assigned you patent in 1999 you could have paid fee till 2000. There is no point to revive the application which has passed its term.
If patent is lapsed due to non-payment of Maintenance fee one can revive it filing a Petition See Earlier answer Failure to pay maintenance fees
Now Such Petition is Hard to track As I see no option to find this information on PAIR. If a Petition is filed it is the matter between Patent office and applicant Ideally It should be made available via ...
Your Query contains Two Issues:-
1. Can Any person revive Patent after not paying Maintenance fees?
YES but in certain circumstances and not after 2 years.
For more information see Failure to pay maintenance fees
MPEP2590 Acceptance of Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in Expired Patent to Reinstate Patent
II. UNINTENTIONAL DELAY ...
No, the idea is not patentable anymore. Once any person anywhere publishes knowledge on how to create the invention (whether publishes it in a patent, online, in a novel, etc...), the idea can no longer be patented. Clerks at patent offices have to review many sources (generally patent offices in other countries, existing patent applications, engineering ...
Also how long are patent granted for 15 years or 20 years and is this from the date o publication or from the date of Granting of the patent.
Quoting the EPO's website:
"The maximum term of a European patent is 20 years from its filing date. The patent may lapse earlier if the annual renewal fees are not paid or if the patent is revoked by the patentee or ...
This is covered in the USPTO MPEP:
2591 Intervening Rights in Reinstated Patents
Intervening rights in reinstated patents are provided by 35 U.S.C.
41(c)(2) which is reproduced in MPEP § 2501. No patent, the term of
which has been maintained as a result of the acceptance of a late
payment of a maintenance fee, shall abridge or affect the right ...
This is important - A lot of the info on the Internet about this is out of date. They changed the rule on this recently.
(Recently = effective December 18, 2013)
This web page summarizes the details. http://www.clm.com/publication.cfm?ID=489
The short version is that if a patent holder pays both the maintenance fee and a late fee, they can revive a ...