Confidentiality

Patent Confidentiality – Invention Disclosures

You can talk to a patent practitioner (patent agent or patent attorney) about your invention just like you can talk to your lawyer about your contract or divorce. You are free to discuss your invention with a patent agent or patent attorney. They are under a legal obligation to keep your information confidential, unless you instruct otherwise. We offer a free patent consultation appointment.

Invention disclosures are confidential because invention disclosures to patent practitioners are covered by client controlled privilege. Information disclosed about an invention cannot be used or shared without your permission.

Note: Patent agents hold the same basic professional liability insurance as that held by attorneys, just limited to the practice of patent prosecution. Contact us.

When Do I Need an NDA to Talk About My Invention?

You can talk in detail about your invention with a patent practitioner (either a patent agent or patent attorney) because your disclosure is protected by client controlled privilege. And, the bottom line is that you should consider a non disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect the privacy and confidentiality of information. If breaching confidentiality is a potential before you are ready you need to consider using a breach of confidentiality agreement or an NDA. Read more about what an NDA is. Note: there are three samples available in the article that can be freely downloaded and used as templates.

Carson Patents recommends the use of an NDA when there is any possibility that your new invention could be stolen with the information you are going to share. If you are just sharing summary information that would not enable someone skilled in the art to make and use your creations then you might be okay, but the use of an NDA should be considered. Most people in the business are accustomed to using NDA’s. In fact, many will have them, and some will even offer them. If offered an NDA, be sure it is mutual (bi-lateral).

At Carson Patents, we ensure the confidentiality of all of our patent services by doing all the prior art searching, patent application writing, patent application filing, and patent application prosecution in-house. 

Note: At the patent office, newly filed applications are treated as confidential for about 18 months. After this initial period, patent applications are published by the USPTO (AppFT database). In other words, patent pending applications are not public for about a year and a half, but then applications are published. We can request that an application not be published. However, issued patents are made available to public by the USPTO (PatFT database). Communication with Carson Patents is confidential. Contact us to start the 5 steps to patent for your invention or to get your free patent consultation.

What Does Confidentiality Mean for Trademarks

Trademarks and Service Marks are not generally held in confidence. Rather the point is to be publicly registered and get the name out there and be sure it is protected by public registration. Disclosures to attorney’s are covered by client controlled privilege. Information disclosed cannot be used or shared without your permission.

What Does Confidentiality Mean for Copyrights

Copyrights are not generally held in confidence. Rather the point is to be publicly registered and protected from copying. However, disclosures to attorney’s are covered by client controlled privilege. Information disclosed cannot be used or shared without your permission.

Important Tip: Contact us when looking for online patent services help, because only a patent attorney or patent agent can prosecute patents for you. Expert online patent help. Get a free consult to discuss patenting your invention. Read about our diversity, equity, and inclusion policies.