First to file is now the law
I originally started my online sci/tech forums for just this reason - myself and others needed a free place to publish so as to establish priority of inventions. The idea that it's hosted by an otherwise uninterested third party with logs and timestamps was one of the keys there. That used to be enough, and was relatively affordable.
Then...a "bipartisan" law change - patent "reform" it was called in the states, changed the rules from first to invent to first to file, blowing that out of the water without EXTREME legal fees, Yet another law to protect the big money against competition from the small outfit.
According to my patent attorneys, you must now file a provisional patent (which you have to follow up on, the good part of that law if any was to eliminate zombie patents) - at fairly high expense, or publish in a journal that the USPTO reads - also at fairly high expense - or all bets are off.
As the law sits now, someone can steal your idea, admit they did so - and still wind up owning it due to being first to file and you not having the bucks to make enough stink and present the court with enough ancillary stuff to keep them from owning it. But you also then have to patent it yourself at ever increasing costs (10's of k$ now even if you do most of the work yourself).
Unlike open source software, you can't even give your own stuff away, in the sense of preventing some other outfit from patenting it and charging others for using it - or just holding it off the market.
At least my lawyers tell me so...
Not to pimp my place which is near-dead due to this and other factors, but it's
www.coultersmithing.com/forums in case you get bored. Nope, not looking for average Joe type members at all, no bucks, no ads, that's not what we are about.