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Peek inside each of the chapters below

Chapter 7: Losing the Right to Patent and Other Pitfalls to Avoid

In the previous chapters, we talked about what it takes for your idea to be eligible for a patent. Let’s call the following discussion the “unless you do this . . .” chapter, because here we are going to talk about ways you can “mess it up,” and lose out on getting a patent that might otherwise have been obtainable.

Disclosing Your Invention Publicly Before Filing May Result in Losing the Right to Patent

This pitfall needs to come first because, over the years, this one is probably the biggest reason I need to tell a client with an otherwise promising invention, “Sorry, I can’t help you.”

Since the law has changed recently on this, and it has gotten much more complicated, and much more harsh, here’s the simple fact:

It’s a bad idea to publicly disclose your invention before you apply for a patent!

Disclosing your invention before filing may kill your chances to get a patent in the United States and/or abroad. The safe bet is to file before you publicly disclose. Under some circumstances, you may have a “grace period” in the United States.

Note that in many other countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, and China, there is no grace period. In these so-called “absolute novelty” countries, if you publicly disclosed your invention before your first patent application filing, you are barred from ever getting a patent…

Here’s What You’ll Learn In This Chapter:

  • Disclosing Your Invention Publicly Before Filing May Result in Losing the Right to Patent
  • Being the “Second to File” Won’t Get You the Patent in Our First-to-File System
  • Disputes with Your Partners May Result in an Abandoned Patent Application
  • Not Including the Correct Inventors Will Not Get You a Valid Patent
  • Not Reporting All Known Prior Art to the Patent Office Can Result in an Invalid Patent
  • Not Responding to the Patent Office in the Time Allowed Can End Your Chances
  • Employment Agreement Limitations May Prevent You from Filing

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© Richard Goldstein 2016

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