If someone discloses/markets a genuinely new (patentable) idea without patenting it (allows 12-months to go by without filing a provisional), does that mean that noone else will ever be able to patent that idea (because by that point it would be public/prior art) ?

In other words, the inventor would give up the right to prevent others from using the idea, but at the same time, they would be immune from being sued by anyone for infringement since their idea can no longer be patented?

1 Answer 1


Basically yes. However, it doesn't save the inventor from claims by third parties that a product made by the inventor infringes on that third party's patents. Someone else may have already invented and patented it or some aspect of it. You might invent a turbo lawn mower and publish the invention to put it in the public domain. That doesn't mean someone else doesn't have a patent on a basic lawn mower that your turbo version infringes.

You must log in to answer this question.