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C4C staff can advise on IP protection best practices and law, set patent strategy, and retain counsel.

Patenting quick facts

You can possibly obtain a US patent if your invention is:

  1. new and useful
  2. non-obvious
  3. a process or a thing1, or an improvement thereof

New means the invention was not (a) patented or (b) published or (c) in public use2 or (d) on sale2, (e) more than 1 year prior to the filing date of the patent application.

Non-obvious means that a person having ordinary skill in the art, at the time the invention was made or conceived, would likely not have made or conceived the invention.

Important Dates to Track:

  • Public disclosure or offer for sale — the date when you first presented, published, or otherwise publicly disclosed your invention or offered your invention for sale. Please contact UW C4C before making a public disclosure3.
  • Conception date — the date that you knew your invention would solve the problem.
  • Reduction to practice — the date your conception manifested itself as a process or a thing.
  • Diligence in reduction to practice — dated portions of the notebook showing your intent and conscious effort to reduce the invention to practice. Since you may still be diligent despite periods of not working on reducing your invention to practice, remember to provide reasonable explanations for these periods of time.
1 Machine, composition of matter, or manufacturable article
2 Occurred in the USA
3 If a public disclosure has been made, it may still be possible to secure patent protection if the public disclosure was no more than one year ago. When in doubt, ask UW C4C whether we should file an “emergency” provisional patent application to preserve patent rights.