Failure to disclose all known information related to the invention

A few years ago, I met with an individual to get an understanding of his invention before filing the patent application. I discovered that he formerly worked for a company that developed technology relevant to his invention. Upon further questioning him, I discovered that a patent had already been filed for this new technology so I informed him that we would need to disclose this information as “prior art” (relevant information known to the inventor during the patent application process) to the Patent Office. The client was reluctant to do so and I began questioning whether he was the true inventor. I knew that he could get himself in trouble for committing a fraud against the Patent Office, and, accordingly, I respectfully declined from further representing him.

If individuals fail to disclose prior art during the patent application process, they put themselves in jeopardy of losing their patent rights. The Patent laws require that inventors and those involved in the patent application process disclose prior art. Disclosing prior art is important because failure to do so is to commit a fraud on the Patent Office!