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Case A: Company A and B begin cooperating with each other and in a meeting, company A discloses an invention to discuss and move further.

Case B: Company A and B sign a NDA and do the same.

Is any of these cases novelty destroying?

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  • Can you clarify what you mean by "entrance meeting"?
    – Eric S
    Sep 28 at 16:11
  • Would you say the intention of the initial meeting was to cooperate on R&D and therefore held with an understanding of confidentiality?
    – George White
    Sep 28 at 19:08
  • @EricS Sorry, I guess opening meeting is a better term(?) but I just removed this term :)
    – Ben
    Sep 29 at 6:49
  • @GeorgeWhite Yes, this is the intention though nothing in writing was recorded.
    – Ben
    Sep 29 at 6:50
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I am not a lawyer so this might not be right, but it is my best guess.

In Case A, I'm assuming the meeting was internal to the two companies and no-one in the meeting then publicly disclosed the invention. In this case there is no public disclosure. Company A is trusting Company B to keep the invention private. This actually happens pretty frequently and there is usually an understanding that such information should be held private. If Company B publicly discloses the invention then it could impact patentability. Of course if Company A has a patent application already filed they are protected.

In Case B Company A is obligating Company B to keep the invention confidential with the NDA and has remedies if they don't. As George White states in a comment, at the very least an NDA documents that the disclosure was not intended to be public. An NDA is pretty much always a good idea.

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  • thank you, just to add something wrt to the NDA: Our patent attorney (who I see maybe once or twice a year) once said that a NDA is pretty useless and just for the psyche of the people as it is hardly possible to come up with proof for any violations against it and the like.
    – Ben
    Sep 29 at 6:52
  • 2
    An NDA might not always be a practical thing to try to enforce but for the purpose of not breaking novelty it documents the understanding that the invention was not disclosed to the public by disclosing in that setting.
    – George White
    Sep 29 at 7:46

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