The US Senate has passed a bill that would make "several significant changes" to US patent law, says Patent Docs' Kevin Noonan. The bill, if it passes the House, would change the US patent system so that it resembles Europe's. The main change would be from the current "first to invent" standard to a "first inventor to file" standard. Any of the individuals who discovered or invented the item to be patented could file, not just the first person who invented it. It also means that the most important date is "the filing date of the earliest application for which the patent or application is entitled," Noonan says. It would no longer matter who was first to invent or discover something, but who was fastest to file for a patent, the exception being if the claimed invention was patented or made available to the public through printed publication or sale before the effective filing date of the patent, Noonan adds.
To Complicate Patent Law Even More
Mar 15, 2011