Defensive Publication as an IP Protection Strategy

"The defensive publication strategy protects a company’s intellectual property by getting it into the public domain, but while optionally retaining rights. In this strategy, a business publishes their technology before an aggressive competitor can file a patent on the same technology.

For example, if a business is afraid that a stronger or more aggressive competitor may develop a similar technology, the business may attempt to dump as much of the technology into the public domain before the competitor may develop and patent the same technology. If the aggressive competitor were to obtain patents in the area, it may attempt to enforce the patents against the first business.

In this strategy, the technology is made known in the art before anyone else can develop and patent the technology. This benefits a business because an aggressive competitor cannot patent the technology and sue the first business.

On the down side, the technology that was disclosed could have been secret, proprietary, and otherwise a trade secret. In essence, the cat is being let out of the bag."

Read more at this post from Russ Krajek