When to Keep an Invention a Secret?

Disclosure of the invention to the public prior to the filing of a patent application loses its novelty and protection is no longer possible.

Disclosure of the invention to the public is considered the disclosure of the invention in any way, including, for example, oral or written publication of professional and scientific papers and articles, placing the invention on the market, advertising, public presentations or exhibitions.

The only exceptions are exhibitions of the invention at a special category of international exhibitions, provided that the patent application is filed within 6 months of the exhibition, and that this fact is indicated in the application.

Therefore, if you are considering patent protection for an invention, be sure to file a patent application before any presentation of the invention to the public! It is recommended that only persons who need it (e.g. your collaborators in the development of the invention) or persons who are obliged to maintain secrecy by the nature of the work know about the invention before filing the patent application (e.g. patent office officials, professional patent attorneys).


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