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Does usage of a website constitute public disclosure of the patentable server components for the website? In other words: will the grace period start for server components as soon as users start using a website?

Please assume that the user cannot determine much about the server components from using the website. e.g. Google's pagerank algorithm cannot be determined just by doing searches in Google.com.

Is there a difference if the website is:

  1. in the public domain
  2. is only accessible via authenticated users who have either signed non-disclosure or agreed to a non-disclosure in the terms of use
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1 Answer 1

In the past this would be a public use and maybe a public commercial use even if no information was determinable from the outside. The AIA law probably changed this so a "non-informing use" doesn't start the clock. Until a few cases get to court it is not 100% clear.

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