Significant Provisions of the America Invents Act Set to Take Effect in March


The final and most significant changes under the Leahy-Smith American Invents Act (AIA) will become effective on March 16. This Client Alert explains what should be considered before and after that date.

U.S. Goes From a First-Inventor-to-Invent System to a First-Inventor-to-File System -

Today the American patent system is a first-inventor-to-invent system. Under this system, in a competition between independent inventors, the first individual or individuals to invent are generally awarded the patent. Thus, individuals who are first to invent but second to file at the Patent Office may still be awarded the patent. This provision will change significantly on March 16.

Under the AIA’s new first-inventor-to-file system, the first inventor to file a patent application in the United States will be awarded the patent. This is a momentous shift from the first-inventor-to-invent system. The first-inventor to-file system will apply to U.S. patent applications that contain, or contained at any time, at least one claim having an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013. Furthermore, unlike under the first-inventor-to invent system, inventors under the first-inventor-to-file system will not be able to use the invention date to avoid prior art that appears between the invention date and filing date.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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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.

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