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Patent Time Bars

WHAT IT MEANS: A public disclosure or offer for sale of an invention may prevent you from getting a patent for that invention.

WHAT IS A PUBLIC DISCLOSURE: A disclosure of the invention (outside of your company) in any form, which is not covered by a good non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

WHAT IS THE TIMING: In the United States (and a limited number of other countries), there is a one-year grace period from disclosure to file a patent application. Outside of the U.S., any public disclosure automatically prevents you from getting a patent in most countries, such as Europe or China.

WHAT TO DO: File a patent application or get a signed NDA before you disclose the invention outside of your company. Contact your legal team to obtain a copy of a standard NDA.

Category: Intellectual Property, Patents