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I have a novel idea for a therapeutic target. I am planning to submit a grant to the NIH to fund research which will help test whether this target is as promising as I believe it to be. I am concerned that the grant application itself may constitute public disclosure.

What is the best way to construct my grant application so that I do not lose the ability to patent?

This page: http://www.ipo.uc.edu/index.cfm?fuseaction=overview.how describes a process of requesting confidentiality of the grant contents. However, now that we have changed from a "first to invent" system to a "first to file" system, that seems like much weaker protection. How should I proceed?

Thank you for any advice, in particular from anyone who has recent experience in this area!

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You could staple a USPTO provisional cover sheet to a copy of your grant application and send it with a check for $130 to the USPTO the day you submit the grant application. –  George White Apr 24 '14 at 21:18

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