Under current U.S. patent laws, the first inventor to file (FITF) a patent application on an invention is awarded the patent. This means that if two individuals separately file patent applications on the same idea, then the person who first filed its patent application in the U.S. Patent Office will be awarded the patent. The Patent Office merely looks to the filing dates of … [Read more...]
Bars to patentability
The bars to patentability are public use, offer for sale and printed publication. After one year from the earliest of one of these events, the inventor is barred from seeking patent protection.
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Entrepreneurs typically undertake a number of efforts in order to sell a product. They demonstrate their products to the public and one-on-one to buyers. They may engage in cold calls to set up customer meetings, place informational content on a website to provide more information about the product and attach files to e-mails. These efforts can be broadly categorized as a … [Read more...]
Under U.S. patent laws, an application for patent must be filed within one year of the first public use, sale, offer for sale, or printed publication. Otherwise, those activities will be considered prior art against any later filed patent application. With the rise of communication over the Internet, these bars to patentability (i.e., public use, sale, offer for sale, or … [Read more...]
New Patent Laws (AIA) have been bad for independent inventors and start-ups The America Invents Act (AIA) signed by President Obama in my opinion is not better for independent inventors. Here’s why. Under the America Invents Act, the U.S. patent system switched from a first-to-invent rule to a first-to-file rule. Under the first to invent rule, the person who first … [Read more...]
Good question. The bottom line is that a contract (i.e., confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement) and a patent application protect your interests in different ways. Hence, the recommended course of action is to do both (1) file a patent application, and (2) have the investors and licensees execute a confidentiality agreement to protect yourself. If you don't … [Read more...]
Startups are always worried that they might do something that will jeopardize their ability to seek patent protection for their idea or invention. One area that startups and inventors often falter is in the bars to patentability. There are three bars to patentability. They are the offer for sale, public use and the printed publication. Upon the first instance of any one … [Read more...]
Inventors are not required to file a patent application before marketing their invention (i.e., product or service) to others. However, doing so is not the recommended course of action because the inventor could lose their patent rights due to the first to file rule. A third party may see the invention, make a slight modification to the invention and file a patent application. … [Read more...]
On March 16, 2013, the United States transitioned from a first to invent system to a first to file system under the America Invents Act (“Patent Act”). Inventors and businesses should consider the following aspects of the law when implementing a patent protection strategy. General rule and the exceptions Under the Patent Act, any disclosure dated prior to the filing date … [Read more...]