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First-To-File Patent Law Is Now In Effect, But What Does it Mean?
Date:3/18/2013

ntor Claude invents a toothbrush, documents his invention, works on it does not file an application
--> One month later, Claude writes on his blog and discusses his invention.
--> 2 months later, Inventor Jerry invents the same toothbrush, and files a patent application
--> One month later, Claude files an application for his invention.

Under this scenario, with the new AIA "first to file" system, Claude would be awarded the patent, based on the fact that he was the first to publicly disclose the invention.

Thus, now the most important question is not who created the invention first, but rather, who talked about it first OR who submitted an application first. A public disclosure becomes the "date" that prevents any other inventor or company from receiving a patent on the same invention, even if that inventor or company created the invention prior to the disclosure date. The same thing applies to filing an application. In the absence of any public disclosure, the date of filing an application becomes the "date" that precludes any other inventor or company from obtaining a patent, even if they created the invention prior to the application date.    

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