Beware of traps that can kill your patent prospects. Some surprisingly innocent activities can prevent you from getting a patent. We will review risky behavior and answer such questions.
TELL NO ONE! Even with a Nondisclosure Agreement, a "Public Disclosure" can prevent patenting, especially abroad. Although the U.S. has a 1 year grace period, this is not the norm worldwide. Even an "Offer-to Sell" can end hopes. (At least lawyers are sworn to secrecy).
SLUMBERING ON YOUR RIGHTS: The opposite of the hyperactivity risks- if you do not file promptly after completing your invention, you may never be able to get a patent.
INEQUITABLE CONDUCT DESTROYS GRANTED PATENTS: No big surprise, but just listing wrong inventors can invalidate a granted patent. Do you know who your inventors are?
BEST MODE: No sandbagging allowed. If you want to get a patent, you must disclose your most successful results at the time you file.
David is a member at VERN MAINE & ASSOCIATES, an intellectual property law firm in Nashua, NH. He has over 20 years of technical experience. His patent prosecution work includes oceanography, antennas, computer hardware / software, and nuclear devices. David graduated from UMass Lowell in physics and obtained his JD from the Franklin Pierce Law Center. He is licensed to practice in MA and NH. www.vernmaine.com
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