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The Law Office of Joan I. Norek

        Intellectual Property

            Chicago, Illinois

                                                    w w w . n o r e k l a w . c o m

       

 

Patents

About Patents
Why Patent It
Public Domain vs Patents
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Patent It or Not
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Application Entry-Costs
Application Examination
Disclosure Documents
Provisional Services
About Provisionals
Provisional vs Non-provisional
Provisional - Attorney Prepared
Provisional Replacement
Patent Consultations
Patent vs Trade Secret
Trade Secrets after Patent Filing
Patents vs Trademarks
Patent Interferences
Patent Infringement
Patent Marking
Patent Ready
Patent Reexaminations

Patents

About Patents
Why Patent It
Public Domain vs Patents
Patent Term
Patent Myths
Internet Issues
Inventors and Assignees
Patent List
Patents Directory
Chemical  Patents
Patent Fields Guide
Patent Search - Basic
Patent Search - Corporate
On-Line Order - Searches
DIY On-Line Patent Check
Patent It or Not
About Patent Applications
Meaningful Patent Protection
Patent Application Outline
Application - Corporate
Application Entry-Costs
Application Examination
Disclosure Documents
Provisional Services
About Provisionals
Provisional vs Non-provisional
Provisional - Attorney Prepared
Provisional Replacement
Patent Consultations
Patent vs Trade Secret
Trade Secrets after Patent Filing
Patents vs Trademarks
Patent Interferences
Patent Infringement
Patent Marking
Patent Ready
Patent Reexaminations

Patents

About Patents
Why Patent It
Public Domain vs Patents
Patent Term
Patent Myths
Internet Issues
Inventors and Assignees
Patent List
Patents Directory
Chemical  Patents
Patent Fields Guide
Patent Search - Basic
Patent Search - Corporate
On-Line Order - Searches
DIY On-Line Patent Check
Patent It or Not
About Patent Applications
Meaningful Patent Protection
Patent Application Outline
Application - Corporate
Application Entry-Costs
Application Examination
Disclosure Documents
Provisional Services
About Provisionals
Provisional vs Non-provisional
Provisional - Attorney Prepared
Provisional Replacement
Patent Consultations
Patent vs Trade Secret
Trade Secrets after Patent Filing
Patents vs Trademarks
Patent Interferences
Patent Infringement
Patent Marking
Patent Ready
Patent Reexaminations

 

 

About Disclosure Documents

what they are, what they are not


Disclosure documents - written disclosures of inventions, signed by the inventor, and filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under its disclosure document program to provide credible invention evidence.

self-filing information or access the USPTO disclosure document program page or USPTO inventor resources page.

Disclosure documents are:

  • credible, inexpensive (but possibly short-lived) invention evidence (comments below)

  • far more credible invention evidence than the mail-it-to-yourself (registered or unregistered) trick

  • records for which a date and content can be established with USPTO certification

  • invention date and content evidence without disclosure to anyone

 

What they are not (what they do not do):

  • are not a patent

  • are not a poor man’s patent (comments below)

  • do not provide patent protection

  • do not provide a “grace period” (comments below)

  • do not provide an application filing date

 

What happens to them:

  • USPTO records date of receipt

  • USPTO can provide, upon inventor’s permission, certification of content and receipt date

  • kept in confidence by USPTO for two years

  • destroyed, unless patent application referencing disclosure document in separate letter is filed within two years

 

Short-lived evidence

A disclosure document provides little to no evidence of anything unless it still exists.  The USPTO cannot certify the receipt date and content after it has been destroyed, and it will be destroyed two years after receipt unless a patent application referencing it in a separate letter has been filed before the two years have elapsed.

 

Poor Man’s Patent

No such thing.  None of the “mail-it-to-yourself” or other gimmicks will provide an ounce of protection.  Do not waste your time (or anyone else’s) if you rely on such a gimmick and then see someone else out there selling what you think is yours.  It isn’t yours because you have done nothing to secure proprietary rights to it.

 

Grace Period

Any public use or sale in this country, or publication anywhere in the world, more than one year before the filing of a U.S. patent application, destroys the possibility of obtaining patent protection.

In other words, let one year elapse from the first date of public use, sale, and/or publication, and you are statutorily barred from seeking patent protection.

Publication includes showing it and/or describing it on a website.

Most foreign countries have no such grace periods.  Relying on the U.S. one-year grace period will destroy almost all potential for patent protection in countries other than the U.S.

The one year statutory limit is absolutely strictly enforced.  There are no hardship exceptions.

If someone else files a patent application to the same invention while you are enjoying your one-year grace period, that person will have an earlier filing date.  You will be the junior party in any interference proceeding between the two applications.

 
Disclosure Document or Provisional?

  • Some recommend a provisional patent application over a disclosure document.

  • Provisional applications cost more.

  • Provisional applications provide an application filing date.

  • Provisional applications’ filing dates apply only to what is enabled in the provisional applications.

  • What you say in a provisional application can harm the success potential of the non-provisional application (which must be filed within one year, or you have truly wasted your time and money).

  • Provisional applications open the one-year window period for filing counterpart foreign applications.  When the one-year window expires, so does your foreign filing potential.


self-filing information or access the USPTO disclosure document program page or USPTO inventor resources page.


other topics - patent it or not, patent ready, patent or trade secret it, FAQS, patent term
, corporate patent applications, entry-level patent applications


questions, inquiries
- contact the firm (all contact modes) or call 312.419.8055

 

 
     


The Law Office of Joan I. Norek
25 E. Washington Street, Suite 1400
Chicago, Illinois  60602
Tel.  312.419.8055   Fax 312.236.6686
Contact the Firm

 

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Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Joan I. Norek, The Law Office of Joan I. Norek 
All rights reserved.
noreklaw, noreklaw.com and PatentAttitude are trademarks and service marks of Joan I. Norek, Chicago, Illinois.

Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website provides information and resources but is neither legal advice nor a substitute for the legal advice of an IP attorney.  Retentions are subject to the discretion of the firm.
This website was designed and constructed by Joan I. Norek.