repository for invention disclosure

Launched just ahead of the first move by the US to switch from first-to-invent to first-to-file, a new site, has launched, with the idea of putting your materials in the public view in order to limit other people from attempting to claim patent protection for ideas you are using. I'm not a lawyer, but from what I can see, this is mostly useful for forcing ideas to be disclosed for public use (i.e. intent to eventually place in the public domain).

It's an interesting idea, and has gotten some press coverage, but I'm not sure how much traction it will get, especially in this format.

Some further information about the move toward First-to-File is presented in an article by two IP lawyers from Steptoe & Johnson LLP: Patent law creates a first-to-disclose system (PDF), which discusses exceptions in the prior art handling mechanism in the new law, something that leaves some differentiation between the US system and those of other first-to-file systems. It also describes some interesting scenarios where the US system might lead people to intentionally disclose earlier in some fields, which would preserve their rights in the US, and possibly create problems outside of the US. There have been similar problems in the past with PPAs here in the US and foreign rights.

According to the FAQ (confirmed by a press release from the clinic), the site was set up by members of the Brooklyn Law Incubator and Policy Clinic (BLIP), and is registered to an individual with an address in Brooklyn.

As of today, there is one test disclosure up on the site, and no information on the number of registrants.

Ed Note: Sadly, this site went away and is now being used by a law firm for other purposes. So much for a repository of disclosures.