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Timeframe for patents
15 Nov, 2022 0 Editorial Team

What Does The 12-Month Timeframe For Patents Mean?

You have a 12-month timeframe for patents to reveal your innovation to the public to file a patent application, or you will lose your right to get a patent.


Why is it essential to File applications within 12 months timeframe for patents?

In most cases, you should file a patent application before presenting your innovation to the public. Therefore, you should submit a patent application before advertising your creation on YouTube or selling it on Amazon. By doing this, no one who learns about your idea can apply for a patent before you do.

Similarly, according to US patent law, you have 12 months timeframe for patents to file a patent application if you reveal your idea to the public before doing so. You can no longer get a patent for your creation if you do not submit a patent application within 12 months of showing it to the public! Imagine your disappointment upon hearing from the patent office that your late application disqualifies you from getting a patent! The 12-month gap period is the time period you have after exposing your idea to the public to submit a patent application.


When does 12 months timeframe for patents start counting?

You may explain your idea in a blog post, magazine, or website under the heading “public disclosure.” Your product idea goes public during marketing or promotion online. You might decide to sell the item or present it to the public. The 12-month period begins to run once you make it public.


What if we missed the deadline of 12 months?

Nothing is lost even if you don’t make the 12-month timeframe for a patent. If your innovation has had global impacts since it was first made public, you might be able to extend the deadline. These improvements can help you differentiate your new invention from the published invention. By doing this, you may at least pretend that the two inventions aren’t the same.

Suppose you have already made your invention known to the public. In that case, it is essential to submit a patent application within a year of the publication to protect the published idea completely. Your patent application should fully describe your innovation. By doing this, you can establish protection for each part of the invention that was made public. Suppose your patent application is poorly written and lacks vital details about your invention’s functions; it may not fully satisfy the patentability criteria. In that case, you may miss the 12-month timeframe for patents, and you may lose your chance to get a patent.

The key lessons are:

  • Before revealing the details of your invention to the public, submit a robust patent application.
  • If you have initially made your invention known to the public without submitting a patent application, you must do so within a year of the public release.
  • You won’t be able to receive a patent on your innovation if you don’t submit a robust patent application within a year of presenting your idea to the public.
  • Finally, be aware that the United States Patent Office will enforce the 12-month gap. Some nations, like those participating in the European Patent Organization, have not implemented a grace period. Therefore, you risk losing your ability to apply for a patent in those nations as soon as you reveal your idea to the public. The best course of action is to submit your patent applications in every country before displaying your idea to the common person.