What is a Patent Information Disclosure Statement?

Unlocking the Secrets of Patent Information Disclosure Statements (IDS)

In the complex world of intellectual property, obtaining a patent is critical for inventors and innovators. However, the process involves more than just filing papers; it requires transparency and compliance with specific tasks, one of which is the preparation of a Patent Information Disclosure Statement (IDS). This detailed guide looks into the complexities of IDS, its relevance, and the responsibilities it imposes on patent applicants.

What is a Patent Information Disclosure Statement (IDS)?

While the process of filing a patent does not mandate a prior art search, a duty exists to disclose all known prior art or “material” information. This duty is applicable to both inventors and those involved in patent applications. The submission of an IDS, a formal document disclosing relevant information, is a key aspect of fulfilling this duty. Importantly, this obligation persists until the patent is issued. Failing to comply with this duty can have profound consequences, impacting the patentability of the invention and potentially rendering the patent unenforceable.

Minesoft recommends using patent search tools such as Minesoft Origin to thoroughly examine previously issued patents and inventions. Minesoft Origin includes powerful artificial intelligence patent search features that allow individuals with no prior knowledge of patent research to easily find prior art. Our user-friendly technology also transforms legal jargon into a more understandable language. You can ensure that your idea is original and distinctive with just a few clicks.

Fulfilling IDS Patent Duty:

Submitting “material” information via an Information Disclosure Statement is a critical step in the patent application process. This responsibility continues until the patent is issued. Failure to comply with this responsibility might jeopardise your invention’s patentability and render the patent unenforceable.

Determining “Material” Information:

While there is no strict definition, general guidelines dictate that all relevant information related to the claimed subject matter should be disclosed. This includes information from related patent applications, patents of the applicant, and references in PCT or foreign counterpart applications.

Minesoft’s patent data spans across 106 jurisdictions, including 83 full-text collections and more than 170 million quality-checked patent documents making it one of the most comprehensive collections available. ​Our records are updated daily to reflect changes in patent archives, enabling you to gather global patent information and submit an accurate IDS from.

When Should a Patent Information Disclosure Statement Be Filed?

Filing the IDS patent form promptly upon the knowledge of relevant prior art information is crucial. For new applications, it is advisable to file it with the initial submission or shortly after to avoid fees. If prior art is discovered through foreign/PCT applications, filing the IDS within three months of the Foreign Office Action or international search report is recommended to avoid additional fees.

Patent IDS & Ongoing Duty of Candour

The need for honesty and transparency extends throughout the patent application process. Supplemental IDS filings may be required when new prior art is identified, particularly in circumstances involving numerous linked patent applications.

Minesoft alerts allow you to get daily, weekly, or monthly emails with new families or publications based on your alert query, ensuring that new relevant patents are not overlooked, and the additional IDS form is completed accurately.

Who Does Patent IDS Duty Apply To?

The ongoing duty applies to both patent applicants and any patent practitioners. Timely IDS submissions are crucial for maintaining the enforceability of the patent. Clear and efficient communication with all involved parties is vital, especially when multiple related applications require multiple IDS submissions.

What Happens If A Patent Information Disclosure Statement Isn’t Filed?

Failure to disclose material information during prosecution may result in inequitable conduct, rendering the patent unenforceable. This leaves your discovery or invention vulnerable to competition, as patent protection is not in place. Being prepared for multiple IDS submissions is a key part of any IP strategy involving patents.

What Happens if Prior Art is Found After an IDS Submission?

The USPTO has a process, the Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS), to quickly review and alter IDS forms after submission. This process allows applicants to request consideration of an IDS after paying the issue fee. If there is no need to reopen the prosecution of the patent’s IDS submission, the Request for Continued Examination (RCE) fee is refunded, preventing applicants from being penalised for proactive measures.


In the ever-evolving field of intellectual property, where innovation is key, understanding and adhering to the obligations imposed by Patent Information Disclosure Statements is not just a legal formality but essential. Embracing these responsibilities ensures that the path to patent issuance is not only compliant but also fortified against potential challenges, securing the rightful protection of valuable inventions and discoveries.

Minesoft Makes Searching For Patents and Prior Art Easy

As you embark on your Invention Disclosure journey, Minesoft is here to support you with cutting-edge services and tools to optimise your IP strategies. Our solutions simplify the meticulous process of patent searching and enable innovators to make better-informed decisions.

Minesoft Origin is a powerful platform that assists users looking to patent their own processes or methods. With its user-friendly interface and easy-to-use features, Minesoft Origin uses AI-powered technology to streamline the search for prior art and helps inventors and businesses have up-to-date information regarding patentability.

To experience the benefits first-hand, contact the Minesoft team today to request a demo and improve your prior art and patent search process. Unlock the potential of your intellectual property with Minesoft’s innovative solutions.

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