Untangling The Real Meaning Of “First-To-File” Patents


By John Villasenor – First, the new first-to-file system will fundamentally alter the role of public “disclosures” in preserving the patentability of an invention. Disclosures can include presentations and demonstrations at trade shows, official postings on company websites, and even unauthorized postings by company employees on social networking sites.

First, an explanation of “first-to-file”:

The term “first-to-file” can evoke images of a race to the patent office, and there are indeed scenarios in which the patent will go to the winner of just such a race. However, that is far from the whole story.

Consider, for example, the case of an employee at Company A, who conceives an invention in May, works diligently to reduce it to practice, and files the corresponding patent application in August. Suppose, further, that an employee at Company B independently conceives the same invention in June and files for a patent in July.

Who gets the patent? more> http://is.gd/u6juIK

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