You can submit an Idea whenever you feel you have discovered something unique with possible commercial value. This should be done well before presenting the discovery through publications, poster sessions, conferences, press releases, or other communications. Once publicly disclosed (i.e., published or presented in some form), an invention may have restricted or minimal potential for patent protection outside of the United States. Differences exist between the U.S. and other countries on the impact of early publication on a potential patent. For example, once you have presented the information publicly or the abstract has been made available publicly, your invention is not patentable in many countries. Be sure to inform OCR of any imminent or prior presentation, lecture, poster, abstract, website description, research proposal, dissertation/Master’s thesis, publication, or other public presentation of the invention.