To what extent I can talk about a patent to my future employer while protecting myself and my current employer?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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To what extent I can talk about a patent to my future employer while protecting myself and my current employer?

I have a question about patenting and disclosing some information. I have started filing a patent for my current employer. I am also planning to find a new job and as part of my expertise and part of my resume, I need to talk about my patent which basically illustrates my skill level. The patent filing has already started internally but it is not filed yet.

Asked on January 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You cannot disclose anything about the patent--any details of it whatsoever--since disclosing that could jeopardize the filing and expose you to liability (your employer could sue you for any losses or costs your disclosure causes them). You can say you are filing a patent; you could disclose the broad area (e.g. a patent for controlling factory automation; a way to improve drone navigation; a new type of insulation). But you can't say anything that the listener could use to figure out or anticipate what you are patenting or what its key features are.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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