Filing a patent after disclosing the idea

Generally, you should file for a patent application before you publicly disclose your invention to others. However, if you have made a public disclosure, you have one year from the date of the public disclosure to file your patent application in the United States.

While you have a year in the United States, each foreign country has varying rules on whether and when you can seek patent protection on something that was publicly disclosed before the filing date of the application. Determining which countries allow such filings can be an expensive endeavor, involving attorneys in each foreign country in which you are seeking protection. Accordingly, it is best to file the patent application before the public disclosure.