The first-inventor-to-file provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) took effect on March 16, 2013. While the effective date provisions for the first-inventor-to-file provisions are complicated, the new laws will apply to all U.S. applications with an earliest effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, and also to U.S. applications that claim subject matter with an earliest effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, even if such applications have an earlier priority date. Other changes to USPTO practice apply to all applications filed from now forward, even those that fall under substantive first-to-invent laws.
New Requirement For “Transition” Applications
In two months, the U.S. patent system will begin its transition from the current “first to invent” system to a new “first-inventor-to-file” system. Inventors and applicants should be considering whether patent applications that may be ready for filing should be filed before or after the March 16, 2013 effective date of the U.S. first-to-file laws. This article provides a non-comprehensive, big picture review of the changes that take effect on March 16, 2013, and discusses other changes to the America Invents Act recently passed by Congress.
Which patent applications will be governed by the first-to-file laws?
The “first-to-file” provisions of the United States “America Invents Act (AIA)” take effect on March 16, 2013. Because of other changes to the U.S. patent system, this date will be just as important to patent applications being filed around the world as it will be to those being filed in the United States. Here, I highlight several reasons why global patent applicants—and their patent counsel—should be aware of the significance of March 15, 2013—the Ides of March.
A Global View Of “Effective Filing Date”
The AIA amends 35 USC § 100 to add a new definition of “effective filing date.” Although the statutory language is complicated, it embodies the familiar concept of [...]