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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #51
whiterhino
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Shot an email to our patent attorney. Here is his reply.

In the U.S., you are given a one year grace period with which to file a patent application following a publication, public use, sale or offer to sell. After that year has lapsed, you are barred from obtaining patent protection to the extent that the claimed invention was disclosed.

Most foreign countries adhere to what is know as "absolute novelty." This requirement precludes the filing of a patent application in a foreign country once a public disclosure occurs (i.e., no grace period).

Of course, it is not really this black and white. There is always the question of whether his use qualifies as a public use, and, if so, what date was that the grace period triggered. That can be a whole other animal depending upon the specific facts.
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