Public disclosure is any non-confidential communication of an idea or invention that enables an appropriately experienced individual (“person having ordinary skill in the art”) to reproduce your invention.
Public disclosure can lead to the loss of patent rights. For example, in the U.S., public disclosure of your own work made less than one year before your patent filing date will not count as prior art. This is referred to as a grace period for the inventor’s own disclosure. However, if your public disclosure was made more than one year before your patent filing date, it is considered prior art and may prevent you from obtaining a patent.
Public disclosures may include:
- Internet articles
- Exhibitions or trade shows
- Academic printed and online publications
- Email correspondence
- Public Use or Sale