The Importance of Timely Filing a Patent Application
Proper timing for filing a patent application can be challenging but is extremely important. If you fail to timely file a patent application, there are several factors that may prohibit you from securing a patent. Nevertheless, it is also possible to file too early. Hence, it is important to understand the importance of the filing date for your patent application.
According to statutory provisions, if two or more inventors file patent applications for the same invention, priority is given to the inventor who first filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). There is no consideration given to who actually conceived the invention first. As a result, the filing date of your patent application is extremely important and has a significant impact on whether you are able to succeed in obtaining a patent.
Because of the significant role of the application filing date, certain precautions should be undertaken to avoid potential challenges with your application. For example, it is important to consider filing an application before telling others about the invention, including investment partners or other companies. While it is true that a person cannot file a patent application for an invention unless they actually invented it, divulging certain information may lead to others trying to file an application for your invention before you can file the application.
Deadlines for Filing a Patent Application
In addition to beating third parties in the race to the USPTO, disclosures associated with a patent application may create additional deadlines. If these deadlines are not properly observed, it may lead to your application being thrown out and prohibited from obtaining a patent.
The first relevant deadline is one year after the first public disclosure of your invention. A public disclosure requires that someone (not necessarily the inventor) disclose to a member of the public a non-confidential communication that describes the invention in sufficient detail to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use that invention. Such disclosures often occur through printed publications, such as advertising material or scientific journals, or verbal disclosures, such as those made during a presentation. Once a public disclosure of the invention is made, the inventor has one year to file a patent application before they are barred from obtaining a patent for that invention.
The second relevant deadline is created one year after the invention is first used in public. While the inventor’s experimental use of the invention does not trigger the one-year time bar, any public use by the inventor or another who is not under a restriction or an obligation to secrecy by the inventor will trigger the beginning of the one-year time bar.
The third relevant deadline is created one year after the invention is first offered for sale anywhere in the world, even if an actual sale is not made. A mere offer to sell the invention will begin the one-year clock regardless of whether your invention has been brought to the market or put into practice.
As a result, these potential bars to patentability highlight the importance of filing an application as soon as possible in order to avoid missing out on securing a potentially valuable patent.
Have Questions? Contact an Experienced Patent Attorney in Los Angeles Today
If you have any questions about when you should file a patent application, contact a highly experienced and reputable patent attorney in Los Angeles today. Omni Legal Group is a premier Patent, Trademark, and Copyright law firm located in Los Angeles. Our legal team of highly experienced patent attorneys specialize in protecting your intellectual property securing your patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Whether it’s a provisional patent, non-provisional patent, design patent, utility patent, or plant patent application, Omni Legal Group will see it through. For further information or to schedule an appointment, please call 855.433.2226 or visit www.OmniLegalGroup.com to learn more.