Kickstarter.com, Indiegogo.com and other crowdfunding sites have revolutionized the way that some businesses start up and raise capital. However, when new technology is involved, it is best to look before you leap. In a first-to-file patent system there is a danger that winning the race to raise capital could lead to losing the race to the Patent Office.
Reproduced below is the Patent Novelty Statute, 35 U.S.C. 102 as amended by the America Invents Act. It is also available at uspto.gov.
(a) NOVELTY; PRIOR ART.—A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—
(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or