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   Invention disclosed to the public 7 years ago &quo
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   Author  Topic: Invention disclosed to the public 7 years ago &quo  (Read 2584 times)
concretecowboy_09
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Invention disclosed to the public 7 years ago &quo
« on: Dec 7th, 2007, 7:54am »
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I disclosed an invention to the public unaware of the patent laws at the time and it happened around 7 years ago . As far as I know from my research and patent searches, no one has tried to patent anything like this as of yet !
 
I understand that once an invention is disclosed to the public that you have 1 year to file for a utility patent. I understand that if you fail to apply for a utility patent within 1 year you lose your right to file for a patent on this item. Is this correct ? If this is correct, does that give John Doe out there the right to file a utility patent on this product ? Or since it has been disclosed does that mean that no one can file a patent on it ? This is confusing ! Can I take the invention I disclose and change it somewhat ? Would the slight design change make it a whole new product ? And would I have the right to apply for a patent if I did these changes ?
 
I would appreciate anyones knowledge on this matter.  Thanks
 
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Bill Richards
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Re: Invention disclosed to the public 7 years ago
« Reply #1 on: Dec 10th, 2007, 7:20pm »
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on Dec 7th, 2007, 7:54am, concretecowboy_09 wrote:
I understand that once an invention is disclosed to the public that you have 1 year to file for a utility patent. I understand that if you fail to apply for a utility patent within 1 year you lose your right to file for a patent on this item. Is this correct ?

If the disclosure is of the invention, yes.  That is, unless there's something left out or if the disclosure is not "enabling".  (Teach someone how to make it and use it.)
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If this is correct, does that give John Doe out there the right to file a utility patent on this product ?

No, Mr. Doe is not the inventor.
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Or since it has been disclosed does that mean that no one can file a patent on it ?

Yes, it's in the public domain.
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Can I take the invention I disclose and change it somewhat ?

Yes.
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Would the slight design change make it a whole new product ?

Maybe.  If it's a non-obvious change, yes.
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And would I have the right to apply for a patent if I did these changes ?

Yes.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
614/939-1488
Get It Right Folks
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Re: Invention disclosed to the public 7 years ago
« Reply #2 on: Dec 11th, 2007, 12:48pm »
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Regarding:
I understand that once an invention is disclosed to the public that you have 1 year to file for a utility patent. I understand that if you fail to apply for a utility patent within 1 year you lose your right to file for a patent on this item. Is this correct?
 
Simply put, in the context of patentability in the United States ... that is incorrect.
 
Your activities may have prevented patentability, may have caused a chain of events that prevented patentability, and may not have affected patentability at all.
 
In order for your activity to prevent patentability one year from the activity, your activity would have to qualify at least as a printed publication, public use, or an offer for sale.
 
For example, if you stood on a street corner with only a bull horn and merely fully described your invention to thousands of passersby, and none of your audience took further action, then 35 U.S.C. 102(b) does not rule out your gaining a patent now. However, if a reporter heard your description, and then went and wrote a newspaper article about your antics and your invention, 35 U.S.C. 102(b) would likely prevent patentability if a patent application was not filed within one year of the publication date of the article.
 
Laymen and patent practitioners alike get this concept wrong all the time. I recommend that Bill review 35 U.S.C. 102(b) and find relevant materials that demonstrate its application in various circumstances. I once served on a panel that interviewed inventors and will never again rush to equate the term "disclosure" with 35 U.S.C. 102(b) activities. In fact, I am unlikely to ever again use the term "disclosure" except when scolding others against its most popular use, which is the dissemination of misinformation regarding patentability. If my bullhorn example sounds too outlandish, then you need to spend a day on such a panel. Everyday, people unknowingly commit acts that fall between the cracks of "public disclosure" and the activities listed in 35 U.S.C. 102(b). Then those people go and ask whether patentability will be lost within one year ... and then some remiss patent practitioner tells them "yes" without properly pursuing the facts and weighing the facts against the patent statutes.
 
If you would like an educated respose regarding whether your activities has barred your gaining a patent, then you'll have to provide more information about your activities. You can provide that information here or to a patent agent or patent attorney who may keep your information confidential. Bear in mind, patent attorneys and patent agents are sometimes compelled by U.S. law to disclose information to the U.S. Patent Office despite that the information may harm a clients likelihood of receiving a patent. But that is another discussion.
 
But the bottom line is ... drum roll please ... public disclosure cannot be said to prevent patentability.
 
C'mon people ... we've been over this before! ... Get it right already!
 
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DJoshEsq
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Re: Invention disclosed to the public 7 years ago
« Reply #3 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 3:17pm »
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The above response is "technically" correct.  
 
However, and this is a big however, there have been MANY MANY disclosures that were not "technically" printed publications but barred patent protection under 102(b).  
 
For example, all of the following have been deemed "printed publications" by courts:  participating in a television or radio interview, placing a thesis on a shelf, the submission of a proposal to a federal agency, and the submission of an abstract for a book proposal.
 
So before you scold everyone to "GET IT RIGHT FOLKS." You should at least acknowledge how broadly 102(b) has been interpreted.
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D. Joshua Smith, Esq.
Registered Patent Attorney
McDonald Hopkins, LLC
Cleveland, OH
216-348-5400
Fishing Rod
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Re: Invention disclosed to the public 7 years ago
« Reply #4 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 8:57am »
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Hello everyody!!!
I've been using my fishing invention for fishing. It works very great. I used it in many lakes. I always make sure no one is around when I put it in and out of the water. Nobody has seen my invention but my wife and my dog and the fish those poor suckers.
But now one guy says I don't bother trhying to patent it because I disclosed it.
But I know nowbody saw it. I know!
I kept it hid getting out of my truck and getting my stuff into the boat. My wife didn't tell nobody and my dog can't talk. But he can sure hunt. Nothing like my invention is in stores cause I know all aobut fishing equpment.
 
Can I patent it or not cause I saved up the money now but he says I cant. I want a second hand opinion.
 
waht do you think Huh
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