I came up with an idea and after getting it submitted to a patent agent. I found that something similar had been submitted in 1998. I was told by my agent that there is nothing I can do as far as patenting the idea because of it's prior art and the similarities. If I had the rights I would be able to make it the way I envisioned. The owner of this patent has never paid the maintenance fees on this idea but it still hasn't been 20 years for it to actually expire. Though I could be making this idea and marketing it I want the rights so if my product takes off a major corporation can't just take it from me. How do I go about this?