April's advice article
First Inventor to File Is Here: Learn How It Works
On March 18, 2013, the United States implemented one of the most important components of the America Invents Act (AIA) by adopting a "first-inventor-to-file" patent system. The new system brings more certainty and objectivity to the patent process. In addition, it brings the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in line with other nations and moves us closer to a harmonized global patent system.
To help independent inventors understand the new law and how it affects them when filing a new patent application, the USPTO has created a set of easy-to-follow animated videos and slide presentations. All videos and presentations can be found under the Informational Videos section of the AIA implementation page.
The videos break the law down into its basic components and are intended for newcomers to patent law.
- In the first video you will learn about what constitutes prior art under the new law.
- In the second video, you will learn about the exceptions to the prior art covered in the first video.
- In the third video, a few more types of prior art will be discussed.
- The fourth video will cover the exceptions to prior art listed in the third video.
Together, these four videos cover Title 35 of the United States Code, section 102, which codifies the first-inventor-to-file system. There are four corresponding slide presentations that go into more detail and cover additional items.
Keep in mind:
- First-inventor-to-file applies to applications filed after March 16, 2013. Any application filed prior to March 16 will be examined under the previous first-to-invent rules.
- Patent applicants still must sign an oath asserting that they are the true inventor of the invention claimed in their application. Only a true inventor (or an agent or attorney acting on the true inventor's behalf) can file for patent protection on the claimed invention.