Law - Public Disclosure(s)

Public disclosure(s) can start the clock running on the period within which a valid patent application can be filed in some jurisdictions and can bar the filing of a valid patent application in others. A public disclosure occurs when "how to make" and "how to use" an invention is made available to the public in writing, orally, by use in public, or by an offer to sell or sale of the invention. In general, for a public disclosure to have occurred, a "person having ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains" must be able to practice the disclosed invention. Thus, if such a person would not be able to practice the invention after being informed of it, a public disclosure has not actually occurred. An offer to sell or sale of an invention (even if it occurs in secret), however, can have the same effect as an actual "public" disclosure under certain circumstances.

It is acknowledged that what you believe to be a public disclosure, may not have actually been one. To be safe, report the first of any type that may have occurred. (In providing details about potential public disclosures, skip a line between paragraphs and indent the first line of each paragraph.)

The position of the USPTO on this issue is described in the following section(s) of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP):

MPEP 2128 - "Printed Publications" as Prior Art
MPEP 2128.01 - Level of Public Accessibility Required
MPEP 2128.02 - Date Publication Is Available as a Reference
MPEP 2132 - 35 U.S.C 102(a)
MPEP 2132.01 - Publications as 35 U.S.C. 102(a) Prior Art
MPEP 2133 - 35 U.S.C. 102(b)
MPEP 2133.02 - Rejections Based on Publications and Patents
MPEP 2133.03 - Rejections Based on "Public Use" or "On Sale"
MPEP 2133.03(a) - "Public Use"
MPEP 2133.03(b) - "On Sale"
MPEP 2133.03(c) - The "Invention"
MPEP 2133.03(d) - "In This Country"
MPEP 2133.03(e) - Permitted Activity; Experimental Use
MPEP 2141.03 - Level of Ordinary Skill in the Art

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