Where to publish innovative idea to create prior art status related the invention


A friend has an innovative idea about a service. To protect the idea from future patents, he has the idea to make the invention available to the public domain.

Is a blog a relevant place to describe the invention? Should he write an article in a specialized magazine as well?

How risky it is to make that idea available for everyone?


asked Oct 29 '10 at 08:36
118 points
  • ideas are not worth anything nor will anyone buy them. Ask him to develop the idea on his own. It will benefit him in future anyways. – Bhargav Patel 13 years ago

3 Answers



There is something called "Provisional Application for Patent ". You basically describe you idea in very simple form and pay almost nothing to fill the form in UPSTO. This gives you "protection" for some limited time and probably kind of prior art status.

answered Oct 29 '10 at 15:52
2,288 points
  • We got a provisional patent a couple of years ago. It only costs about $100, and is a super simple process - no need for a lawyer. But it's only good for 1 year. That should be enough time to decide if it is worth pursuing a patent. – Zuly Gonzalez 13 years ago


I'm with with Ross. A provisional patent is actually better than posting on a blog because it offers you protection AND you don't make it publicly available. From a practical IP point of view, keeping the idea secret for as long as possible is the key to actual protection more so than any form of publication ever could.

Also the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences held that U.S. provisional patent applications act as prior art under 35 U.S.C. ยง102(e) as of their filing date. This is assuming you file for and are granted the subsequent non-provisional patent based on the provisional.

That said, your friend needs to first figure out whether his "idea" for a business service is actually patentable. See: http://www.legalzoom.com/intellectual-property-rights/patents/what-kind-business-models Also see the recent SCOTUS Bilski decision: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_re_Bilski

answered Oct 29 '10 at 18:35
Henry The Hengineer
4,316 points
  • Henry, another dead link. Can you please fix it? – Zuly Gonzalez 11 years ago


1) A patent is only as good as the amount of money you have readily available to defend it.

2) Patenting an "idea" might actually attract unwanted attention to your "special idea". In the case of unwanted attention refer to #1 above.

answered Oct 30 '10 at 03:22
40 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: