Initial Disclosure Law and Legal Definition

Initial disclosure is a requirement under the federal law that parties make available to each other the following information without first receiving a discovery request: (1) the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons likely to have relevant, discoverable information, (2) a copy or description of all relevant documents, data compilations, and tangible items in the party's possession, custody, or control, (3) a damages computation, and (4) any relevant insurance agreements.

In the context of Patent law, initial disclosure refers to a document that explains how an invention works including the drawings, descriptions, specifications, references to prior art, and claims. Such a disclosure enables a person skilled in the particular art to understand and duplicate the invention. An inventor can file a disclosure document with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office prior to submitting a patent application, but the document's date has no connection with the later application's effective filing date.