New Patent Law to Create “First to File” Rule on March 16th


As we begin a new year, we wanted to bring you up to date on the most recent happenings in the patent world. I'm sure you have seen the publicity in the past year concerning changes in the patent laws, sometimes referred to as the America Invents Act or AIA. There is one area which we should call to your attention.
The AIA implements a “first to file” law in the U.S. This means the first inventor to file his or her application will be given priority of invention. In the past in the U.S., the inventor who could prove that he or she was the first to invent would be awarded the patent, no matter the order in which multiple inventors of the same invention filed their application. However, as of March 16, 2013, this will change. After that date, if multiple patents are filed for the same invention, the patent will be awarded to the applicant who files first. The bottom line appears to be that applications with an effective filing date before March 16, 2013 have certain advantages over applications filed March 16th or after.
As a result, whereas in the past, you may have waited until a product was ready to be offered to the market to file our patent application, it may now behoove you to file at least a provisional application as soon as possible.
Between now and March 16th, you should consider any new ideas you may have in the “hopper.” The best strategy may be to file some kind of provisional application to establish an effective filing date that allows us to proceed under the old patent laws. It appears there are this and a few other advantages to applications proceeding under the old laws.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.