When am I able to talk about my invention?
If you fail to keep your invention secret before filing your application, there is a risk that your patent application will be rejected.
Keep your invention secret
It is important that you do not talk about your invention before you have filed your patent application. This is because all information about your invention that is known on the filing date affects whether it is deemed to be new and thus whether or not it can be patented – even information you have distributed yourself. This means that what you yourself say, display or write about the invention before the application is filed can result in the application being refused.
Once you have filed your application, PRV keeps it secret for 18 months, unless you request that it be published earlier. This means that you are able to keep your invention secret while awaiting an initial notice from PRV in which your application is assessed, but this is not a requirement in order for the application to be granted. If you choose to keep your invention secret for the first 18 months, you are able to withdraw the application without it ever being published. This allows you to file an improved application at a later date without the first application anticipating the subsequent application.
Once your application has been published, anyone can read its content.
It is a good idea to think about how you communicate with others about your invention. For example, PRV advises against communicating using unencrypted channels such as unencrypted email.
If you collaborate with other inventors, companies or organisations, you should always make use of a confidentiality agreement to keep your invention secret. This is also the case if, for example, someone writes a degree paper about your invention or something that concerns your invention. It is important to think through how your invention is described in, for example, a degree paper so that the novelty of the invention is not affected.
You can read more about this and study standardised confidentiality agreements at the Swedish Inventors Association.