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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today’s Show, for you, the inventor or entrepreneur, getting your daily inspiration to make the world a better place.

We’re talking about the big question that we get asked by all of our clients: What’s the process? How do I get a patent for my invention? We’re here on step five today. Step five looks at the statutory bars. It sounds really legal, but this is so important I can’t stress this enough. We need to make sure that we evaluate the history of your invention and who you’ve talked with and who you might have sold your invention to prior to application filing. Now, the best, you know, best in all cases is if you haven’t published your invention at all and you haven’t sold your invention at all. If that’s the case, thumbs up, you’re in great shape. But don’t tune out because for your next invention, I don’t want you to make the mistakes that I’m going to talk about next.

The statutory bars, there are two main statutory bars, and that means that if you fall outside of this rule, that means that you are barred from patenting, meaning your invention is not valid. It will not be able to achieve the grants that you’re protecting, and it will belong to the public. In the U.S., you have a one-year grace period for publication or sale. Those are the two types of statutory bars. For publication, if you have shown your invention to the public, whether it be in a Kickstarter or a magazine or tradeshow, and you’ve told the public about your invention, whatever was shown to the public will become a part of the public domain exactly one year from that date of publication. Similarly, the other statute, if you’ve ever sold your invention or even offered for sale your invention more than a year ago, you are barred from patenting.

So, this is a tough rule. Some of those clients we’ve come and they’ve just been heartbroken by this. But it’s one of those things like, you know, you just don’t know unless you ask. And so, I go into a patent professional, these are the kinds of questions you get answered, you know, before they become real heartbreaks and issues for your business. If you have any questions about what kind of disclosure qualifies as a publication, the time periods that are in essence here, and when you need to get your application filed by, talk to one of our patent attorneys. Go to our website at You can book a free consultation right from the website.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at