The first three things that entrepreneurs need to know about patents involve how entrepreneurs can lose the right to pursue patent protection. First, in the U.S., the law provides that a “public disclosure” of a potentially patentable concept starts a one year grace period for the filing of a patent application directed toward the disclosed concept(s). After the grace period expires, the disclosed information becomes “prior art” against the concept. In other words, the applicant’s own work invalidates the patent application (if filed after the grace period).
Foreign countries have different rules related to these two “statutory bars.” For instance, many foreign countries have no law regarding offers to sell. On the other hand, in many countries, a public disclosure of a concept operates instantaneously to bar a patent covering it.
We at the Vilhard Patent Group would be happy to discuss these aspects of the law with you. For more information visit our website at www.villhardpatents.com, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (512) 897-0399.