FYI: A reminder from a law firm we work with.
The America Invents Act was signed into law on September 16, 2011. One of the most important changes was to the US filing system, which will change on March 16, 2013 from a 'first to invent' to a 'first to file' system. In other words, if you and a competitor are working on the same product, whoever files a patent application first gets the patent rights, regardless of who invented it first. Under the old rules, if you invented first you got the rights, regardless of filing date. After March 16, 2013, you will lose the benefit of being the first inventor(s) unless you are the first to file the application.
If you've been considering filing a new patent application, it will be in your best interest to file it before the March 16, 2013 deadline. The new rule only applies to new applications filed on or after March 16, 2013, and not to existing or pending applications.
James C. Barrood
Executive Director, Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship
Silberman College of Business-Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940
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