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Zoltek Companies, Inc. Message Board

  • zoltyfan zoltyfan Jul 17, 2013 7:34 AM Flag

    Re-Cap on Patents

    So is the bottom line that there is no significant value in the Zoltek patents-- that is regarding the ones that have expired?

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

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    • Not sure what you mean by "significant value". The only thing I can say is that most patents expire between 15-20 yrs after the approval date; some use the submission date as the time when the clock starts ticking...this has changed over the years. But without question there is a date beyond which the patent no longer is protected from use by other companies/individuals. Also the drug industry can vary in the timing for patent protection. Nonetheless, once a patent has expired anyone can avail themselves to anything within the patent.

      This is the whole concept of generic drugs. When a drug gets patented, the company that developed the drug has 100% exclusivity to produce that drug and sell it without possible infringement from other companies. However, the patent date usually far precedes the marketing date. So a pharmaceutical company may only have a few years exclusivity to make their profit on the drug. Once the patent period runs out, the generic drug companies can come in and begin to manufacture and sell the drug at a lower price point and without fear of recourse from the original patent holder. So any of the Zoltek patents dating beyond the 20 year exclusivity period are basically worthless with respect to exclusivity. There was a matter of "reissue". Reissuing a patent does not restart the timeline. Reissue is used to correct problems with the original patent i.e. usually language and possibly scope, but it keeps the original timeline for patent protection in tact.

      Hope that clears things a bit. I am sure that a patent attorney can clarify some of the cloudy points better than I can. I hold 9 patents and this is what I have garnered over the years working with the attorneys.


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