The America Invents Act, formally known as H.R. 1249 (“AIA”) has clearly been the most significant evolution to the United States’ patent regulatory landscape in decades. The most important change under the AIA is that America has joined the rest of the world in rewarding the first inventor to file a patent, known more commonly as the “first-to-file” rule.
Under the previously existing system, an inventor could provide that he or she was the first inventor, even if he or she was not the first to file, through laboratory notes and journals. Now, with a few exceptions, one needs to be the first at the doors of the Patent Office. If and when several people come up with the same invention, which happens more often than most people think, it does not matter who was actually the first inventor in time. What matters is who was first to sprint to the Patent Office to file.read more