How long does a patent last?

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Patent Duration Patent Law Intellectual Property

How long does a patent last?

Under recent changes in the laws, in the United States patents are now granted for a term of 20 years from the date of application (14 years for design patents). Different rules apply for patents covered by applications filed before June 8, 1995. Patents may be extended only by a special act of Congress (except for certain pharmaceutical patents).

After expiration of the term of the patent, the person holding the patent loses the right to exclude others from utilizing the invention, so that anyone can go ahead and make use of the invention without permission of the patent holder.

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