Typical situation in UI design: you do design of some UI and, say, came up with some bright new idea like "ribbon" or "kinetic scroll past end".

What would be the strategy about such thing? Register patent, don't like it, but anyway would like to ask: how long it takes to do all this stuff and how much it will cost in average?

If to forget about patents, will the idea have something like "prior art" status or some such if someone will try to patent this in future?

All this about project / product published by solo developer.


You should read about the concept of prior art in Wikipedia. In essence, it would work, but let me highlight this:

[Prior art] constitutes all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent's claims of originality. If an invention has been described in the prior art, a patent on that invention is not valid.

So, you can avoid patents over your work if those patents are registered after you’ve already done something about it. However, it must be something public. Later on you can read:

Prior art must be available in some way to the public, and in many countries, the information needs to be recorded in a fixed form somehow.

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