What if an idea was preposed, and not patented... and someone stole it and claimed it of their own, what could be the outcome? Can the developer of that idea take that patent for their own? Or basically, take back all their rights for the patent? What about the person/company that stole it, can they possible benefit from it?

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    If the first person made the concept public, and after a year had not filed a patent application they have no rights. They gave it away to the public. Someone else later, whether they took the idea or re-invented it themselves would not get a patent if the information made public by the first person was found by the patent office. Stolen or not, it is old at that point.
    – George White
    Jun 5, 2014 at 21:15
  • @GeorgeWhite What if it was not public, between two people and the developer of the idea has a statement from the second person stating not to share/or use the idea for their own even if it was years ago? But agreed to keep it between him/her and the developer of the idea?
    – M.A
    Jun 17, 2015 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


One of the criteria for evaluating patent applications is novelty. The idea described in an application is not novel if it has been disclosed previously in whatever form - oral, written, through use or demonstration. Even a granted patent can be invalidated if it's proven to have been prematurely disclosed

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