Anticipating First-to-File: What to do to Prepare for the United States Patent System’s Change to First-to-File

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First, if you filed a U.S. provisional patent application or foreign priority patent application on or after March 16, 2012, and you intend to add material to your patent application when you convert to a non-provisional patent application one year later, file the non-provisional patent application or a second U.S. provisional patent application or foreign priority patent application with the additional material on or before March 15, 2013. If you file the non-provisional patent application with the additional material on March 16, 2013 or later, at a minimum the additional material will be subject to the new first-to-file system.

Second, file patent applications on any new inventions you are ready to file on or before March 15, 2013 if possible. Further, if you do file U.S. provisional patent applications on such new inventions on or before March 15, 2013, the U.S. provisional patent applications should be as good as any non-provisional patent application that you would expect a patent examiner to actually examine.

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