Will the patent application make my invention available to third parties?
In almost all countries, the full content of the patent application is published 18 months after the first filing. Thus, filing a patent application on the invention will make it available to third parties. As the description of the application needs to be quite detailed for the invention to be patentable, it is not possible to leave out essential information relating to how the invention is performed. Thus it is important to establish that obtaining patent rights to the invention outweighs the fact that the invention is made public to your competitors.
Before the patent application is published, most patent offices will issue a search report, which provides an indication on the patentability of the invention. It is possible to withdraw the application before publication if the applicant no longer wants to continue with the application.
De Clercq & Partners can help you to determine whether or not the publication of the application outweighs the rights that could be conferred by a granted patent on the invention.