Sunday, May 28, 2006

Disclosure Document Program Might be Abandoned

USPTO is considering abandoning the Disclosure Document program.

The Disclosure Document program was implemented to provide an alternative form of evidencing the conception of an invention. It provides a far more useful method of establishing the date of conception than the rather silly "mail it to yourself" method. (Note that no one can determine what is in that envelope until it is opened, and once it is opened the authentification it provides is destroyed. Again, silly.)

The USPTO's current thinking is that few, if any, inventors benefit from the system. I suspect few understand the value of being able to obtain certified copies of the material disclosed with USPTO confirmation of date of receipt.

The USPTO's current thinking is also that many inventors believe they have filed a patent application. I agree 100% with that. I have heard over and over again from people who believe (even worse) that they have a patent, not merely a patent application, or that the patent will arrive shortly. Quite a number were duped by invention promo outfits, but the USPTO confirmation clearly explains it is not a patent or a patent application.

The USPTO's current thinking is also that a provisional patent application is a better route. Disagree. For manyy inventors the filing cost difference, namely $10 versus $100, is a significant issue. And the misunderstandings continue into the provisional application area. Inventors think they have a patent. See more on provisional patent applications on the uspto website or on my website - easiest route is to select Site Map from the link bar on the top, and then under the "Patents" or "About" headings select "Provisional"