Let's say I have a provisional patent application (PPA) at USPTO regarding a method for scoring food for taste. I have a website for a beta release of an online service which uses this method of scoring in the backend, where the scores are calculated and sent to the frontend webpage where these scores are displayed. If I don't claim a patent pending method is underlying the service anywhere on the website and also don't disclose the method anywhere or to anyone, does the existence of the said beta service constitute a "public use" in context of 35 U.S.C 102(a)(1) or a "disclosure" in context of 35 U.S.C 102(b)?

1 Answer 1


A U.S. answer

Commercial public use is a little up in the air after the AIA changed the law 10 years ago. Before that secret commercial use triggered the 1-year grace period.

Now it might or might not trigger - see this article https://hansantos.com/blog/understanding-secret-commercial-use-and-the-patent-filing-grace-period/

In the rest of the world actual public disclosure is key but I’m not answering for the rest of the world.

  • 1
    I was indeed looking for a US answer. As the article you alluded to says, it's up in the air after supreme court's 2019 Helsinn v. Teva decision. To be conservative, it makes sense to assume that this availability of the beta is considered a disclosure in the context of 35 U.S.C 102(b). Thanks!
    – vikx01
    Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 16:12

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