Disclosure Document Law and Legal Definition

With respect to Patent law, disclosure document is one that discloses an invention and is signed by the inventor or inventors. This document is then forwarded to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as evidence of the date of conception of the invention. The disclosure document shall be forwarded to the PTO by the inventor or by any one of the inventors when there are joint inventors. It can also be forwarded by the owner of the invention, or by the attorney or agent of the inventor(s) or owner.

A disclosure document is not the only evidence of the date of conception of an invention. Notarized records or witnessed, permanently bound, and page-numbered laboratory notebook are also evidence of the date of conception of an invention. A Disclosure Document is usually retained for two years. Later it shall be destroyed unless it is referred to in a separate letter in a related patent application filed within those two years. A Disclosure Document is not a patent application.