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Expiration of Patent

A patent can be renewed annually for up to twenty years from its date of filing. Though this can be extended by another five years for a medicinal product or plant protection product by the grant of a supplementary protection certificate. When a patent expires, the holder can no longer claim exclusivity on its usage. Thankfully, technological advances affect consumer demands and products will usually evolve over a twenty year period - leaving little likelihood a competitor would want to start producing your product once the patent expires.

Return to intellectual property law glossary here.