Patents, Prototypes, Manufacturing, and Marketing New Inventions
Patent Protection Information - Inventors Disclosure Document Program.
Patent protection information: the United States Patent and Trademark Office has a program that can
provide you with proof of your date of concept for a two year period. It is only used for evidence of the date of conception and
can never be an actual patent.
A service provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is the acceptance and preservation for two
years of "Disclosure Documents" as evidence of the date of conception of an invention.
A paper disclosing an invention (called a Disclosure Document) and signed by the inventor or inventors
may be forwarded to the USPTO by the inventor (or by any one of the inventors when there are joint inventors),
by the owner of the invention, or by the attorney or agent of the inventor(s) or owner. The Disclosure Document
will be retained for two years, and then be destroyed unless it is referred to in a separate letter in a related
patent application filed within those two years.
THE DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT IS NOT A PATENT APPLICATION. THE DATE OF ITS RECEIPT IN THE USPTO WILL NOT BECOME THE EFFECTIVE
FILING DATE OF ANY PATENT APPLICATION SUBSEQUENTLY FILED. It does not provide you with patent protection for your new invention idea.
These documents will be kept in confidence by the USPTO without publication in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 122(b), effective November 29, 2000.
This program does not diminish the value of the conventional, witnessed, permanently bound, and page-numbered laboratory notebook or notarized
records as evidence of conception of an invention, but it should provide a more credible form of evidence than that provided by the mailing of a
disclosure to oneself or another person by registered mail.
WARNING to Inventors
The two-year retention period is not a "grace period" during which the inventor can wait to file his or her patent application without possible
loss of benefits. It must be recognized that, in establishing priority of invention, an affidavit or testimony referring to a Disclosure Document
must usually also establish diligence in completing the invention or in filing the patent application after the filing of the Disclosure Document.
Inventors are also reminded that any public use or sale in the United States or publication of the invention anywhere in the world more than one year
prior to the filing of a patent application on that invention will prohibit the granting of an U. S. patent on it. Foreign patent laws in this regard
may be much more restrictive than U.S. laws.
For more information about Disclosure Documents, patent protection, and new invention ideas, please visit the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/
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