What is a defensive publication?
Defensive publications, which are endorsed by the USPTO as an IP rights management tool,
are documents that
provide descriptions and artwork of a product, device or method so that it enters the
public domain and
becomes prior art. This powerful preemptive disclosure prevents other parties from
obtaining a patent on the
product, device or method. It enables the original inventor to ensure that they have
access to their
invention by preventing others from later making patent claims on it. It also means that
they do not have to
shoulder the cost of patent applications.
The Defensive Publications program, a component of Linux Defenders, enables non-attorneys
to use a set of
Web-based forms to generate defensive publications. It relies on substantial
participation from the open
source community as it relates to disclosures. Defensive publication drafts will be
reviewed and edited as
needed and at no charge by OIN’s attorneys. The completed defensive publication will be
added by OIN to the
IP.com database, which is in turn used by IP attorneys and the patent and trademark
office to search for
prior art when examining patent applications.