15 years ago I filed a provisional patent to establish myself as first in line to patent an idea for a novel internet business.
I then submitted the idea (my working notes and flowchart) to a leading internet incubator without an NDA to see if they would be interested in outright purchase or development.
They declined and after the 2000 bubble eventually folded. However the VP that I spoke with would go on to have a stellar career in and around this idea of mine and during his tenure as CEO of a very large web company the latter Co. was granted a patent for my idea from 1999.
In the week before I disclosed the idea (1999) I contacted a friend of a friend who was in a similar industry to get his opinion on what direction I should take vis-à-vis funding or selling the idea. I mention in the email that I was keen or excited about the upcoming phone conference with the incubator co. and I describe the idea in great working detail (beyond obvious) for his opinion, again without an NDA.
I have retained copies of two of these lengthy conversations with him.
Do I prove prior art?
The provisional expired and it's not really my question.
I am asking if the personal email dialogues I had with various individuals about the idea (strategies to go VC route or sell) can be considered as prior art? There were no NDA's and no confidential statements below the email signature. I spoke freely with these people to gain feedback/advice and trusted them because they were friends of friends.
It was an inventor's disclosure (Form 19-2), which I was told is no longer used by the US Patent Office but at that time was valid for 2 years. To my knowledge it was never published nor any record kept after expiry except for the copy that I hold.