Protecting intellectual property (IP), such as an invention which warrants patent protection, can be a complex process. There are several tests which have to be satisfied for a patent to be granted, one of which is that a patent cannot be granted for an invention which is already ‘made available to the public’.
Recently, a patent for an ‘on board’ cable storage system for a hover-mower was revoked on that ground because another similar system had been developed previously and this had been made available to the public – when it had been kept in the inventor’s garage and shown to only four people outside the inventor’s family..
In this case arose when the inventor successfully sought to revoke a company’s patent. It makes the point nicely that if you have IP you wish to protect, keep it secret, or allow it to be seen only with the benefit of a properly-constructed non-disclosure agreement, until your rights to it will not be compromised by disclosure.
We can advise on all matters relating to protecting your IP.