On Thursday, July 26, 2012, the USPTO announced publication in the Federal Register of proposed rules and proposed examination guidelines for the first-inventor-to-file provision of the AIA. The first-inventor-to-file provision converts the United States from a “first-to-invent” to a “first-inventor-to-file” system.
How will this affect our clients, the inventors? Primarily by making it more important to file patent applications as early as possible. This probably means a greater emphasis on filing provisional applications, in order to get the benefit of a filing date ahead of inventors in the U.S. and other countries.
The proposed rules and proposed examination guidelines amend the rules of practice to implement the conversion and set forth the Office’s interpretation of how the conversion impacts sections of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure related to novelty and obviousness. The proposed rules and proposed examination guidelines are summarized as follows: Continue reading AIA Proposed First-to-Invent Rules »