What constitutes 'prior disclosure'?

Question

This might be a silly question but I’m a bit confused by ‘prior disclosure’ as it applies to patents application. What exactly constitutes this? Does something have to be published about the new technology or product? Presumably entrepreneurs discuss their ideas with colleagues family and friends? Or is this not recommended as being too risky, even if it is just their immediate group? Thank you.

Answers: 1 public & 0 private

77f6bb54dc
Patent Attorney

Prior disclosure can differ between jurisdictions. However, it typically refers to public disclosure of your invention including published documents, non-confidential discussions, conference presentations and public use of your invention. Again, the level of disclosure may differ from jurisdictions but typically, a non-confidential disclosure which allows a person to understand what your invention does and how your invention does it, would constitute prior disclosure. Accordingly, discussions with other people, including family and friends, for example, troubleshooting and improving your invention are likely to fall within the scope of prior disclosure, unless an arrangement is put in place, for example, using a non-disclosure agreement to ensure that these discussions remain confidential.

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