What is Defensive Publishing?

Defensive Publication is a process whereby an organisation make information public to prevent any other person or organisation claiming it as their Intellectual Property.

It is mostly used when the information could potentially be used to create a Patent, and the organisation having the information determines that it is

  • not worth the cost and effort to patent
  • but there is a danger another organisation could patent it and use that patent to stop our organisation using the information to achieve our goals.

Publishing defensively works by preventing anyone else being able to past the test of Novelty required for a patent to be granted. If the patent examiner can find information openly published that covers the same 'territory' as the patent application they are considering, then they must refuse to grant the patent because it is not Novel.