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Avoid the Public Disclosure

Hello again. In our previous video, we discussed how the first step of the patent process is to properly document your invention.

In this video we discuss the second step of the patent process which is to avoid the public disclosure.

Inventors are Proud People

And rightfully so.

They’ve created and brought something new to the world. The most natural tendency is to run down the street shouting: “Eureka! Look what I’ve made!”

Or, in the modern context, plaster the invention all over your social media and on the internet.

I’m here to tell you: avoid that urge.

In the United States, if you tell a third party about the invention, offer to sell it or actually sell the invention you have started a one year clock within which you must file a patent application or be barred from obtaining a patent.

Many other countries have absolute novelty requirements which means these types of activities can destroy any opportunity to seek foreign patent protections.

In view of this public disclosure or on sale bar, you would be wise to avoid telling third parties about the invention including: business advisors, prototypers, manufacturers without:

  • Filing a patent application to become “patent pending”
  • or, having a third party sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

Indeed, this is why NDAs are most important early in development.

So to Recap

The first two steps before filing a patent application are to:

  1. Properly document your invention
  2. Avoid the public disclosure

In our next video we will be discussing the third step before filing a patent application.


The professionals at Ward Law Office are available to answer any questions you might have about patent, trademarks or copyrights.

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