83 votes
Accepted

If I don't want to patent something, what can I do to ensure the patent office doesn't unintentionally grant the patent to someone else?

There is a history of "giving away patents", which allows the original grantor to foster innovation instead of stifle it. Here are some examples: Sealand Industries - ISO Shipping Container Patented ...
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39 votes

If I don't want to patent something, what can I do to ensure the patent office doesn't unintentionally grant the patent to someone else?

Producing or selling the invention are not the only ways to establish prior art. A simple publication detailing the invention would also suffice, from a strictly legal perspective (the publication ...
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19 votes

If I don't want to patent something, what can I do to ensure the patent office doesn't unintentionally grant the patent to someone else?

Publish Your Invention In theory, any reasonably-findable publication should work just as well as actually getting a patent in terms of establishing prior art to prevent the issuance of another patent ...
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3 votes
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Prior Art: Search Resources

Many patent applications do not publish until 18 months after they are filed, but can be used as prior art as of their filing date. Therefore, it's not possible to find all the potential prior art ...
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1 vote
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How non-public could a disclosure/publication be, and still count as such for patent "prior art" and copyright purposes?

Prior art status has nothing to do with the specific inventor having access to the reference. It does have to do with the public having access. At least in the U.S., there is much splitting of hairs ...
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