The United State is currently under the "FIRST TO INVENT" system. (Most foreign countries are on the "First To File" system). Therefore, proving you have invented the invention on a particular date can be extremely important in obtaining a patent in the United States.
You can prepare and file the Disclosure Document yourself. You do not need a patent attorney or agent.
The Disclosure Document provides a more credible form of evidence than that provided by the popular (but worthless!) practice of mailing a disclosure to oneself via registered mail.
If the USPTO rejects your claimed invention under 35 USC Sections 102(a) and 102(e), you can "get behind" the effective dates of the cited prior art patent references by referring to your Disclosure Document. However, testimony or affidavits referring to a Disclosure Document must also establish diligence in completing the invention or in the filing of a patent application since the filing of the Disclosure Document.
The Disclosure Document must be a clear and complete explanation of
the manner and process of making and using the invention. The description
must be in sufficient detail to enable a person having ordinary knowledge
in the field of the invention to make and use the invention.
USPTO will retain the Disclosure Document for two (2) years. After that time, the Disclosure Document will be destroyed unless referred to in a separate letter in a related patent application filed within the 2 year period.
Disclosure Document may be relied on only as evidence of conception and inventorship.
A patent application should be diligently filed if patent protection is desired.
The two (2) year retention period should not be considered to be a "grace period" during which the inventor can wait to file his or her patent application without possible loss of benefits.
The undersigned respectfully requests that the enclosed papers be accepted under the Disclosure Document Program, and that they be preserved for a period of two (2) years.
The enclosed papers total (NUMBER) pages. In accordance with 37 CFR §1.21(c), I have enclosed a check (or money order) in the amount of $10. Photocopies of this letter and the enclosed papers are also enclosed.
Please direct all correspondence to:
Attorney Raymond A. Nuzzo practices patent, trademark and copyright law. He may be reached at RayAnNuzzo@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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http://www.thehooktek.com/articles.html <==Click here to go to THE HOOK's Articles page.
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Posted 6/11/98. Page last updated 6/11/98