Q: When is the right time to publicly announce a new business idea or product?
A: It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of a new business or product launch, but without careful planning, a public announcement may hinder your ability to secure certain intellectual property rights. For example, public disclosure of inventions can result in a loss of patent rights outside the U.S. and “starts the clock” on filing a patent application for the invention in the United States. In addition, public disclosure of confidential information can result in a loss of trade secret rights. Thus, before making a public announcement, you should consider the IP protections available and consult with a knowledgeable business or intellectual property attorney.