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Prior Art Database and Defensive Publishing FAQs

What is the opinion of the USPTO regarding electronic documents?

USPTO.GOV states the following in “Section 2128 “Printed Publications” as Prior Art [R-10.2019]” (updated on 6/25/2020): “An electronic publication, including an online database or Internet publication (e.g., discussion group, forum, digital video, and social media post), is considered to be a “printed publication” within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1) and pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a) and (b) provided the publication was accessible to persons concerned with the art to which the document relates.” See: https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2128.html

Does IP.com have an independent legal opinion of the service?

The legal opinion on IP.com’s publication process by McDermott, Will & Emery states that “Based on the above analysis, it is our opinion that invention disclosures made available on IP.com’s website can be authenticated, satisfy the hearsay rule or the business records exception, and satisfy the requirement of an original in a patent infringement action in federal district court in connection with an assertion of invalidity under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and/or 103.”

The time on my document doesn’t seem to match when I published it, why?

Since the IP.com Prior Art Database is available around the world, it would be confusing to list times specific to any particular time zone. Therefore, documents published with IP.com have their times recorded in UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). UTC is a worldwide standard for specifying times. To convert to your local time, you either need to add or subtract hours, depending on your time zone.

What steps does IP.com take to ensure document longevity?

In addition to the online maintenance of disclosures, IP.com publishes a monthly printed (i.e. paper-based ‘ non-electronic) publication, The IP.com Journal, available to libraries worldwide. The presence of The IP.com Journal in libraries means that not only do you not need to fear the “electronic-only” publication, but it provides publicly accessible archive copies in the instance the IP.com database becomes unavailable online.

Can I purchase a subscription to The IP.com Journal?

Yes! The IP.com Journal is one of many ways to access the IP.com Prior Art Database. Contact us to determine which of our data distribution methods best suits your needs.

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