Understanding Confidentiality And Patents

Protecting your nuanced invention or idea is essential as you develop your patent application. After all, you want to be able to protect your invention for that 12-month period with a provisional patent application.

But can your patent to remain confidential?

Before you obtain your patent

Before a patent or provisional patent is obtained, you have the right to enter a confidentiality agreement with a third party before the patent application is filed. This is key to fleshing out the ins and outs of your idea and ensuring your invention is patent-worthy. To avoid this idea being stolen, you can enter a confidentiality agreement or a non-disclosure agreement with the third party. It’s your job as the inventor to come up with this agreement and get the other party to sign.

You don’t need to get one of these agreements when you bring your idea to a professional patent attorney. Patent law requires that patent attorneys operate within confidentiality agreements, whether you hire a patent lawyer or not. Publishing confidential information about your invention while it is unprotected is at the discretion of the inventor.

When you obtain your patent

When your patent application is approved and you obtain a provisional patent, your invention or idea is made public. After all, you can’t claim someone is infringing on your patent if the third party isn’t aware of its existence. A full disclosure is needed for a patent to be granted.

It is important that the inventor does not make the invention public before a patent is filed. This can violate the novelty criteria in order to receive a patent for your invention. As such, your idea would no longer be considered novel and a patent would not be granted.

Paranoia surrounding a great idea or invention is common. For more information on the confidentiality of your invention, it’s best to talk to a professional patent attorney before you file your patent application or share information with a third party. Luckily, the patent attorneys in Houston are well-versed in patent law. Visit the Eldredge Law Firm today for your patent application questions and more.

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