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In general, a patent application for an invention should be filed at the patent office before the invention has been disclosed to the public, because otherwise the disclosure of the invention is “prior art” to the patent application and will be taken into account when considering whether the claimed invention meets the requirements of being new and inventive.
However, some countries operate “grace periods” whereby if an applicant files a patent application within a certain time after publicising the invention then the earlier disclosure is not considered to be prior art to the patent application.
For example, if the disclosure does not contain enough detail to enable a skilled person to carry out the invention, then the invention may still be considered new.
In most countries, grace periods only apply to disclosures by the inventors or the person who is entitled to apply for the patent, not to independent disclosures by third parties.We are delighted to once again be ranked in Managing Intellectual Property: IP Stars for 2017.It’s been an outstanding year for Mewburn, having received praise and multiple recommendations across the firm.For these so-called “pre-AIA” applications, inventors’ disclosures are not prior art if made within a 12 month period before the filing date of the application in the US.Third party disclosures within the 12 month grace period can also be discounted as prior art against “pre-AIA” applications if it can be shown that the inventor invented the invention before the third party did.