After concluding its America Invents Act roadshows, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it will extend the comment period on its proposed first-inventor-to-file rules. The previous deadline was October 5, 2012.
According to the USPTO, it has received several requests for additional time to submit comments. Therefore, it is reopening the comment period to provide the public with an additional opportunity to weigh in on its proposed first-inventor-to-file rules.
As we have previously discussed on this IP law blog, the first-inventor-to-file provisions of the AIA are some of the most significant. Not only will they convert the United States patent system from a “first to invent” system to a “first inventor to file” system, but will also:
- Treat United States patents and United States patent application publications as prior art as of their earliest effective United States, foreign, or international filing date;
- Eliminates the requirement that a prior public use or sale be ‘‘in this country’’ to be a prior art activity; and
- Treat commonly owned or joint research agreement patents and patent application publications as being by the same inventive entity for purposes of novelty, as well as nonobviousness.
By extending the comment period, the USPTO is confirming that it continues to value the feedback provided by the IP community. Comments must be submitted before November 5, 2012.
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