Should I keep my invention a secret?

Patents: Do I have to keep the invention a secret?Â

As solicitors we hear great ideas / inventions however on many occasions we have to break the bad news that a patent cannot be secured. Why? Not because it lacks novelty but because the inventor was so excited about creating the invention that it was disclosed to everyman and his dog. This is a common mistake which many inventors fall foul of.

Disclosing your inventions will prior to filing an application will prove to be fatal to securing a patent. If you reveal the invention to anyone whether aurally or in writing such as a business plan, advertisement, academic/industry journal you run the risk of anticipating your own patent application and thus losing its novelty.

Can I not tell anyone?

It is best to keep the invention to yourself until an application has been filed, however if you are adamant to tell someone you should ensure that this is done under the protection of a confidentially agreement. You can of course tell your solicitor, patent attorney and the staff at the Patent Office who are bound by the law of confidence.

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