THE AMERICA INVENTS - IN SIMPLE TERMS EXPLAINED BY USPTO IN 4 VIDEOS- WE ARE NOW A FIRST TO FILE COUNTRY.
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On September 16, 2011, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA),also called the Patent Reform Act of 2011, was enacted into law. President Obama stated that this “long overdue reform is vital to our ongoing efforts to modernize America’s patent laws.” The changes mostly harmonize US patent law with the rest of the world.
A major change is the shift from a first-to-invent system to a first-to-file system. The first-to-file system, which goes into effect on March 16, 2013, reveals a few twists relevant to patent protection in the United States. First, the inventor who files a later application is permitted to contest inventorship on a previously filed application only if it is shown that the subject matter disclosed in the previous application was derived from the inventor who files the later application. This occurs through a derivation proceeding, which replaces interference proceedings. Second, inventors still have a one-year grace period during which the inventor’s own disclosures or disclosures of others who derived their invention from the inventor may not be used as prior art if they occurred within 12 months prior to the effective filing date of the invention.