The U.S. First-to-File Patent System Takes Effect March 16, 2013

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What You Need to Know -

March 16, 2013 is a critical cross-over date in the U.S. patent law which changes from a first-to-invent system to a first-to-file system. Under the current first-to-invent system, the first person to invent is entitled to patent rights. Under the new first-to-file system, patent rights are granted to the first inventor to file a patent application regardless of who was the first to invent. Any application or patent that contains, or contained at any time, a claimed invention having an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, will be subject to the new first-to-file system. The first-to-file system opens up a significantly larger body of prior art applicable to a claimed invention. Accordingly, we suggest, if at all possible, taking necessary steps to ensure that applications filed in the immediate future fall under the old first-to-invent system. A brief overview of how applications are affected by this change follows.

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Topics:  First-to-File, Patents, USPTO

Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Intellectual Property Updates

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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