How to publish a new technology without having patent?


I invented a new software based hardware technology which can solve many problems. I know getting a patent takes a very long time and is not an easy task.

Do I have to apply and wait to get a patent before I release my technology? (Even preparing to apply takes a lot of time/money, and approval takes forever.) Or is there some way to publish my technology faster and safely before getting a patent without losing inverter's rights? Or is the only legal way to protect my right for this technology by getting a patent before publishing it on the Internet?

I'm not in the US.

Ideas Legal Patent

asked Jun 18 '12 at 04:51
6 points
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3 Answers


You can file for a provisional patent, that gives you the patent rights while allowing you publishing the invention. You need to file for a patent within a year. Provisional patent is a very informal filing, but you need to word it carefully not to omit any of your potential patent claims while still not making it too broad to be disqualified.

Once you filed for a patent/provisional, you can disclose your invention. You're not required to keep it secret while the patent is still pending.

Generally this kind of questions should be addressed by patent attorneys, or legal advisers.

answered Jun 18 '12 at 05:30
5,090 points


To protect your right to patent something, you should file the patent before you publicly disclose or sell the technology. This is a strict limitation in many countries.

The U.S. is more lenient in this respect in that you can file your patent application up to one year after disclosure/sale of the technology. The U.S., however, is in the process of switching to a "first to file" system so you should file ASAP so that someone else doesn't file a similar invention before you do.

Notwithstanding the above, you don't absolutely need a patent. A patent doesn't give you the right to sell your product, it just gives you the right to prevent others from practicing your invention. The primary purpose of a patent is to prevent others from copying your invention. This is a somewhat subtle but important distinction.

Also, even if you have a patent that covers your technology, it is still possible that you are infringing someone else's patent.

answered Jun 18 '12 at 12:16
1,936 points


You could always make a poor man's patent. It is less protective, but at least it is something.

Print out your idea, plan, and code, seal it, and mail it to yourself. It will be time-stamped. That way, you have proof that you created it before a certain time.

answered Jun 21 '12 at 05:35
103 points
  • That only works for copyrights if want to establish priority. For patents you actually have to file. Also, the US is following the rest of the world (unfortunately) with its first-to-file rule, so even if you waive the envelope many years later it won't count for anything if someone filed for a patent in the meantime. Provisional application is the way to go. In the US it costs $110 and it quite easy to do it yourself. Just follow directions on side faithfully. – M.G. 9 years ago

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