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Patent law, Prior Art Answered

I am somewhat familiar with patent law.   One of the details of law that I like is the idea of "prior art"  Basically if you publish an idea, someone else can't come along at a later date and patent it.   You have established "prior art."    This may and may not aid you in patenting the idea yourself, but at least someone else can't patent it and shut you out of the market.   A full blown patent may cost 1000s of $, but publishing is a different matter.

At least that is my understanding.

Does stuff published online (thru instructables, for example) count as "prior art."   ?

Also do you personally retain all rights?  or does the website?  Some of both   ?

Y? N? M?


Also, don't confuse "them not being able to patent your idea because you published the idea" with "you having something similar to patent protection BECAUSE you published an idea"...aaaaand...it all really depends where you live. It's different everywhere.

Yes, putting it on here would constitute publication and "prior art".

You CANNOT then patent it in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, except the USA (and I think even they have finally moved to the first to file system) EVEN IF ITS YOUR IDEA.

Short version: you own the rights to every project you publish.

Long version: have a read of the ToS, but not too late at night, or your head will bounce off the keyboard before you get to the part you need.

Intellectual property is proven by ownership and with patents; it's not yours if someone else thought of it first.
The Instructables are published under licences which define rights, see upper-right on the Instructables.


I really haven't seen ibles used in the defense of a patent nor heard it mentioned yet. You have the choice of all the licenses to publish your work to include the various forms of creative-commons cc copyrights. You would probably need to be a lawyer to wade through the legalese of what publishing an ible really entails. I guess you might want to read up on the open-source-hardware movement and see what impact that has too.