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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How does the new America Invents Act change the patent laws?

The America Invents Act was signed into law on 16 September 2011, however many of the key provisions do not become effective until 16 March 2013.
For example, for patent applications filed on or after 16 March 2013, he law will switch U.S. right to the patent from the present "first-to-invent" system to a "first-to-file" system.

The law also redefines the definition of prior art. Acts and prior art that prohibit a patentee from obtaining a patent will include public use, sales, publications, and other disclosures available to the public as of the filing date, other than publications by the inventor within one year of filing whether or not a third party also files a patent application.

Applicants that do not publish their inventions prior to filing will receive no grace period. The proceedings at the U.S. Patent Office for resolving priority contests among near-simultaneous inventors who both file applications for the same invention will be repealed.  These are currently called “interference proceedings.”