Nondisclosure Agreements

Secrecy is vitally important in patent matters. In the United States inventors have one year from a first public disclosure to file a patent application or else lose the right to ever do so. Most other nations have an "absolute novelty" requirement, meaning an inventor loses the right to file a patent application as soon as a public disclosure is made. Nondisclosure agreements allow an inventor to disclose his/her invention to others without losing patent rights.