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What if I Disclosed My Idea before Filing for a Provisional Patent or Formal Patent?

The USPTO allows you one year from the date of your first public disclosure to file for patent or provisional patent on your idea. This one-year period is known as the ‘grace period’. If you do not file for a patent or provisional patent within one-year of your first public disclosure, you will have been deemed to have legally abandoned your patent rights to the idea. When considering a public disclosure, keep in mind most countries don’t give you this one-year grace period – you will have forfeited your patent rights in those foreign jurisdictions upon your first public disclosure.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

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