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researchers may publish or present their results prior to filing a patent application. Novelty requires that no previous public disclosure of the Invention has been made (by the inventor or others), anywhere in the world. In Canada and the U.S. a one-year grace period is provided to inventors that have made their invention public, but such a grace period is not available in Europe.

Most countries, including Canada, operate under a "first-to-file" patent system (i.e. if multiple applications for the same invention are filed, the patent will be granted to the first applicant to file a patent application). The United States operates on a "first-to-invent" system, (i.e. the patent is granted to the person able to prove the earliest date of invention, regardless of the date of filing).

2.3 What May Prevent Obtaining a Patent?

For example, if filing for a patent in the US, the following would prevent the inventor(s) from obtaining it:



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Before he/she made the invention, it was known or used by others in the U.S. or was patented or described in a printed publication in the U.S. or a foreign country. The invention was patented or described in a printed publication in the U.S. or a foreign country, or was in public use or on sale in the U.S. more than one year before the date of filing a U.S. patent application. The applicant for patent has abandoned the invention. He/she did not invent the subject matter sought to be patented, that is, it was invented by another person who was not indicated as an inventor. Before the applicant made the invention, it was made in the U.S. by another who had filed for an application and had not abandoned, suppressed or concealed it. The invention is not obvious in view of one or more prior publications. The scope of the claims are broader than what was disclosed in the application. The invention lacks a specific, credible and substantial utility. The subject matter is non-statutory – for example, cloning of humans. Additionally, methods of medical treatment, or animals and plants are not patentable in Canada; in Europe diagnostic and therapeutic methods of medical treatment are not patentable.

2.4 What is Public Disclosure?

Any previous public disclosure may void the right to patent. Public disclosure refers to any public presentations, abstracts or publication of the research discovery has been made. It is important to note that grant applications can also be considered a public disclosure. To be certain, contact the Technology Transfer/Business Development office as soon as you believe you have an invention that may be patentable.

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