is an attorney with Banner & Witcoff in their Washington office. Prior to joining Banner & Witcoff, Christian worked as in-house IP counsel for a tech start-up and as an attorney for an intellectual property boutique in New Jersey. His practice area has primarily focused on patent procurement and counseling clients on patent strategy. Before obtaining his law license, Christian was a patent examiner at the USPTO for over ten years.
Recently, I met with a potential client to discuss key points that developers and management should keep in mind in taking the first steps to begin developing a patent portfolio. One aspect of the presentation was public disclosures that began the one-year grace period for filing for patent protection. As I was preparing examples, a practical concern emerged; specifically, whether storing source code in a third-party code repository amounted to a public disclosure or a printed publication. My research revealed that there are certain instances where uploading source code to a third-party repository amounted to a public disclosure or a printed publication, but there were precautions that developers and companies could take to prevent the inadvertent public disclosure of their code.