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Keep Your Ideas Close to the Vest

Did you know...that even if you are the first to invent patentable subject matter, and the first to file for a patent on that subject matter, you may have already lost your patent rights through your own actions.  Here are some activities to watch out for:

  • If your invention was offered for sale or was in public use in the US more than one year before you applied for a patent in the US, you are prohibited from obtaining a patent.

  • If your invention was described in a printed publication in the either the US or a foreign country more than one year before you applied for a patent in the US, you are prohibited from obtaining a patent.

  • Outside the US: Be aware that actions on your part affect patent rights abroad differently.  In Europe, for example, if the substance of your invention is divulged to the public by means of a written description, oral presentation, public demonstration, or any other means, before you apply for a European patent, you are prohibited from obtaining a patent.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ted Heske is the CEO of Heske Consulting in Atlanta, GA.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a licensed US Patent Agent.

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