What if I told someone about my innovation? Is it too late to protect it?

“Loose lips sink ships.” My general advice is to keep your innovation secret (e.g., within your company) until you file for patent protection. If you do publicly disclose it before filing for patent protection, you still may have hope. If you file within one year in the US, you may preserve rights in the US. Outside of the US, you generally are out of luck after you publicly disclose the invention. Some countries, however, will give you a grace period like in the US if you file directly in their patent office within a certain period of time of the public disclosure. I was surprised to see how many countries let you do that (e.g., Japan).  Despite these backup positions, file first! As a default, before publicly disclosing any new technology, check to see if it needs to be protected.

 

Steven Saunders is an Intellectual Property Attorney at the Boston-based law firm, Nutter. Steven can be reached at ssaunders@nutter.com.

For more information about Steven, See Steven’s Martin Trust Center Biography at: https://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/profile/steven-saunders/

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful



This website and all posts and content are intended for educational purposes only and for no other purposes including without limitation commercial purposes. Any other use must give proper attribution to the Martin Trust Center and is subject to certain legal rights contained in our license and terms of use. See full legal disclaimer HERE.

The content in this knowledgebase is subject to a non-exclusive license with share-alike restrictions and the terms of use of this site – which is available for your review HERE.
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments