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  Division of Research and Graduate Studies


 Office of Technology Transfer THE INTERSECTION OF RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
 
 
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R E S O U R C E S
 Inventors

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            FAQ's   

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BASICS           
 

INVENTORSHIP AND OWNERSHIP

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
AND RESEARCH

PATENTS AND PATENTING

LICENSING INVENTIONS &
EXTERNAL
BUSINESS
ACTIVITIES

CONFIDENTIALITY,
MATERIALS TRANSFER
& OTHER AGREEMENTS
         

                                        
        

 

 

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

 

What is a public disclosure and how will it affect patenting of my invention?

One requirement for obtaining a patent is determining whether the invention is novel,
but an invention can’t be considered novel if it has been publicly disclosed. For purposes
of patent law, a public disclosure may be a published article in a journal, magazine, or
newspaper; a presentation at a conference; a thesis or dissertation defense; distribution
of pre-prints; posting information on the Internet; selling or offering to sell a product;
public use of the invention; and a number of other events that tend to disclose
knowledge to the public.

Is my grant application considered a public disclosure?

Simply submitting a federal grant application is not considered a public disclosure,
but award of a grant is considered a public disclosure because grant applications and
subsequent technical reports are available to the general public upon request.

I described my invention during a public presentation last year.
Can I still file a patent application?
 
U.S. patent law allows a one-year grace period from the time of first public disclosure
to the time of filing of a U.S. patent application. However, most other nations allow little
to no grace period from the time of first public disclosure, thus resulting in a loss of
patent rights.                                                                                                                                   

  
 
East Carolina University | Office of Technology Transfer
2200 South Charles Blvd | Greenville, NC 27858 | Suite 2500, Mail Stop 163
252.328.9549 | Contact Us
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