Oct 22, 2017
International Grace Periods for Patents: Be Careful When You Disclose Your Invention
by Ilene Goldberg
One of the most important rules of the patent system for an inventor to know, is not to tell anyone about your invention before you have an appropriate patent application filed. This is because no common, internationally-recognized exception to this rule exists. Every country requires an invention to be novel in order for it to be patentable. Novelty is defined by each country's patent laws and essentially means that the invention is original.
The rule regarding novelty in the United States is codified in 35 USC Section 102. 35 U.S.C. §102 provides:
(a) Novelty; Prior Art.—A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—
(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or
(2) the claimed invention was described in a patent issued under section 151, or in an application for patent published or deemed published under section 122(b), in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.
What happens then, if you've already disclosed the invention, can you still obtain patent protection? The answer depends on whether there is an applicable grace period in the jurisdiction in which you wish to file. (Read more)
Mar 28, 2016