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PPA Expirations/ Filing PPA for a Similar Invention

melanielynn's Avatar

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?

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magurn's Avatar

Hi Melanie!

Thanks so much for your post! It is not Edison Nation's policy to provide legal guidance on patent matters. As always, we recommend you speak with a patent attorney to determine the next best steps.

We wish you the best of luck!

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kabuj's Avataree_badge

Hi Melanie, My two cents as an amateur inventor.. PPA's are NEVER disclosed by the PTO unless there is a corresponding RPA claiming it's filing date, so if it is pending, my GUESS is there is a regular patent application currently being prosecuted OR the application was dropped and never completed. Eitherway, the information disclosed in the specification can be considered by PTO examiner in determining the existence of any prior art. If your invention is novel, unique and thereby non-obvious from the PTO's stand-point then you should still have a shot. OF course, determining patentability and pursuing your invention is up to you and/or a patent agent or attorney.

I'm not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. Best of luck!

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crystaldiane's Avatar

Hi Melanie,

As a person who has been down this road, let me ask you first what your objective is to get a PPA or a Patent in place?  This is a very fundamental question I wish I had someone had asked me long ago.

Often we put the cart before the horse, as I have learned the very very hard and expensive way.  Also, have you called the USPTO office? They have an inventors hotline that can provide some guidence - i have used it in the past and found it helpful.  There is also great information on the USPTO website - lots of videos, blogs, how to, etc.  Great resource. You may find the answer to your questions there.

Best to you. 

Awaiting your response to the question....best CD

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