A person files patent after they have disclosed info to public, and sold the item. But lie to patent attorneys. Also let previous patent pending on same invention expire. Can they be turned in for fraud?


Disclosure/sales by the applicant before the patent application was filed would be prior art. In the U.S. there is a quasi grace period of a year so the timing of the applicant selling a product embodying the claimed invention is relevant. An earlier application that went abandoned without being published might or might not be a factor in the validity of the patent.

If a patent is not yet granted there are ways to attempt to counter it at the USPTO. The AIA law introduced a new procedure called preissuance submission provision. During a period of the examination process a third party can, anonymously and for free, present documents that the examiner is required to take into consideration,

If already issued, there are procedures with the USPTO that can be used by third parties to invalidate patents by presenting documents that show there is relevant prior art. It would cost you tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum. In an infringement case the defendant can allege "fraud on the patent office" as a defense.

If the patent was fraudulently obtained and was used as part of increasing the value of a company in a potential investor's eyes that might be actual fraud but that is not within my expertise.

  • Excellent answer. The OP states that a patent was applied for but might not yet have been granted. There may be additional steps to challenge an in process application. – Eric Shain Feb 3 at 11:46

A. What provisions are available in patent law to deal with someone who obtains a patent even though i. he filed a patent application, lets it expire and then starts a web site & starts selling (there is an easily followed you tube & internet website trail?

ii. then does not disclose to his patent attorney that he has had a prior application, files again and obtains patent?

B. Who all can and should step in to address such cheating on patent system and at what stages such measures can be taken ?

  • 2
    The examiner may well find the evidence of the prior sales and then the patent would not be issued. A patent really comes into to play when an infringement suit is commenced. The defendant will be very motivated to find the evidence of prior sales and would end up invalidating the patent. – George White Feb 3 at 20:44
  • The patent system has many strengths and weaknesses, most of them more subtle than this issue. – George White Feb 3 at 20:45
  • This answer doesn’t seem to be an answer but is instead another question. – Eric Shain Feb 25 at 2:55
  • Sorry. Didn't see the root. – AD Adhikary Feb 25 at 6:28

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