0

I invented and published it back in 2002. There's plenty of proof. I'm wondering 1. if it's a good idea just to keep someone else from patenting my invention, 2. if it's even worth trying (what would I stand to gain) and 3. how expensive it would be.

1

At least under US law, no.

35 USC 102:

A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—
the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention;
[...]
Exceptions.
Disclosures made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.—A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if [...]

[section numbers and such removed -- see 35 USC §102 if in doubt about precise contents/wording]

So, to make a long story short, under the right conditions, you have up to one year after publishing and/or selling the invention to apply for the patent, but after that one year grace period, you're pretty much out of luck.

Although laws obviously vary by country, I'd be a little bit surprised to see anybody accept a patent application on something you published in ~14 years ago.

  • The United States offers this grace period, but it's the only country that does. Just re: your "I'd be a little bit surprised," no countries would allow that--your answer holds up internationally. – Matthew Haugen Feb 11 '16 at 20:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.