Can I file a PPA on my idea if it is materially different than another PPA or Patent?
I believe the previous PPA expired with no Patent being filed or granted. Does this matter?
I invented a product several yrs ago but never publicly disclosed or sold it. I looked everywhere I could and could not find anything like it at the time. I only used it personally. I went to look at filing a PPA again this year and found a PPA similar to my idea had been filed in Apr 2013.
However, this inventors PPA is very specific and narrow as to how it is made. The other inventor used a different material but the purpose is the same. I also have several ither possible designs and uses I would like to cover under my own PPA.
I am confused because the other PPA, found only in Google Patents, still shows “Pending” status even though it was filed originally in April 22, 2013 and has a publish date of March 2014?
I say Publish date, even tho I believe this is a PPA, not a regular patent. Do PPAs even have publish dates? I can find absolutely no patent having actually been granted either for this idea or to this inventor.
I thought PPAs expire after one year. If this other inventor did not file a nonprovisional patent, I assume the PPA is actually abandoned or expired. So am I free to file my patent with no worries of infringing on the previous inventor’s expired PPA?
Or maybe I am completely confused and this is an actual patent, in pending status, and I just cant seem to find it anywhere but Google patent search?
I have even searched the USPTO for the application# listed, the inventor name, the product itself, the date and name, etc. NOTHING shows up on USPTO!
I just want to pursue my invention and would like to pursue licensing, but dont know if I can or must invent around the other PPA, especially as it seems it was never issued?