Is Disclosure going to risk my patent?

Doing too good a job at keeping your new idea a secret may be self-defeating, and may prevent you properly evaluating the idea. See our Inventor Center for ways of protecting your ideas. Getting information on technology, costs, pricing, etc. is important and sometimes requires disclosing information about the invention. The inherent risk is often worth taking, but with caution. One always needs to be careful about who they talk to and how they protect themselves.

Disclosures made in confidence, for example, to researchers, developers, consultants etc., generally don’t ruin your chances of patenting the invention. It is strongly recommended though, with all these arrangements, to use non-disclosure agreements during the development process. On the other hand, most countries hold that publicly disclosing your new idea in enough detail to implement it makes it instantly non-patentable. There are exceptions, for example the USA and Canada, were a grace period of 1 year is provided, during which the invention remains patentable. Therefore if there is a need to publicly disclose your invention, whether in a web site or publication, in a conference, or when pitching a sale, you should strongly consider filing an appropriate application before the date of the disclosure.