H1B-Extension/new petition for a person who has not used the current one


My current H1b petition is getting expired in Feb 2013. I wont be able to use this due to some personal reason. Am looking forward to travel somewhere during mid next year. Can you please let me know if this petition can be extended and if there is an option to file a new H1b petition again.

If it can be extended- what is the minimum validity that is required for the current petition when the extension has to be filed.

If a new H1b petiton can be filed again- do I have to wait till April to file and do I have to wait till October to travel. And will this count towards the cap.

Thank you in advance.