Don’t Let Your Idea Become Public Domain!

Don’t Let Your Idea Become Public Domain!

Denver patent law

Patent Law

The US patent law requires filing a patent application for inventions within a set time of various events occurring. These events trigger deadlines called “bar dates.” In the United States, the law allows one year from the date of first public disclosure, public use, publication, sale or offer for sale of an invention, in which to file at least a provisional patent application. Failure to do so prohibits (or forever bars, hence the term “bar date”) the filing of a patent application for that invention. In other words, if an inventor does any one of these things on December 1, 2010, then the inventor must file at least a provisional patent application by December 1, 2011, or the invention has essentially been donated to the public domain.

Most foreign countries have an even stricter standard – the invention cannot have disclosed at all prior to filing a patent application.

STOP READING right now if you have done anything which might be considered to have triggered a bar date, and talk to a patent attorney right away to discuss your particular situation.

Written by

Mark Trenner is an attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In addition to my law degree, I have technical degrees in electrical engineering, environmental engineering, and civil engineering, and experience in a wide variety of technologies. With over 12 years experience in the intellectual property field, I have prepared, filed, and prosecuted numerous patent applications, trademark applications, and copyright applications. I am also experienced with other intellectual property and business law issues, including helping inventors license their inventions to industry. After practicing as an attorney in several private law firms, I also served as senior patent counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado for 4 years. Trenner Law Firm was established in 2004 to serve individuals, entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses, and large corporate clients and help protect their intellectual property with patents, trademarks, and copyrights. General Information Only - NOT LEGAL ADVICE.