NOTICE OF PULBICATION OF PATENT APPLICATION INFORMATION
Publication of a non-provisional patent application by the U.S. Patent Office occurs 18 months from its earliest effective priority date. See MPEP 1120. The earliest effective priority date is the earlier of the patent application’s filing date or the filing date of an earlier patent application that a claim of priority is properly made. If the utility patent application claims the filing date benefit of a provisional patent application, then the 18 month period is calculated from the provisional patent application’s filing date. Please note, only the non-provisional patent application is published and not provisional patent applications nor design patent applications. (Provisional patent applications are only published in a rare circumstances.
What Does Publication Mean?
When a U.S. patent application is published, the entire originally filed patent application is made publicly available for download and entire file history for the patent application can be viewed by anyone using Public PAIR. (see http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair ) Not only can any third-party see your original patent application they can also see all the documents later filed by your (ie. Information Disclosure Statements, etc), all Office Actions sent by the U.S. Patent Office and responses/Amendments filed with the U.S. Patent Office. In addition, your published patent application becomes prior art for any later filed patent application by others or by you.
When Publication is Required?
Publication of a U.S. patent application is required by the U.S. Patent Office if you (i) have filed or (ii) intend to file in a foreign country an international patent application for the invention. For example, if you filed a PCT international patent application 30 days prior to your U.S. patent application, the U.S. patent application will have to be published within 18 months of the earliest effective priority date.
What Are the Benefits for Publishing A Patent Application?
- Required by U.S. Law (if Filing Foreign). If you have filed or intend to file in a foreign country or an international patent application, then you are required under U.S. law to have your patent application published.
- Provisional Rights. If a patent is granted, you may receive a reasonable royalty for infringing activity from the date of publication of the patent application to the issue date of the patent. See 35 U.S.C. 154(d).
- Competitors. Publication of a patent application places competitors on notice you have filed a patent application in a technological area.
- Searches. Your published patent application will show up in patent searches by USPTO Examiners, competitors and others attempting to patent similar technologies.
- Prior Art. The published patent application can be used by the U.S. Patent Office to reject third-party patent applications for related technology regardless if your patent application is later abandoned or granted as a patent.
- Recognition. Some inventors want recognition for their work and publication of a patent application ensures that their technology will be fully disclosed with credit made to them even if a patent is not granted.
Secondary Things You Should Consider:
- If you only plan to acquire a U.S patent on an invention and do not plan to develop a product or service based on the invention, nor offer a the product or service for sale or license the invention to others, and do not plan to publically use the product or service prior to issuance of the patent, then you may want to submit a Request for Non-publication of the patent application.
For More Information see: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s1120.html