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The first-to-file system being implemented on March 16, 2013, attempts to further harmonize U.S. patent law with that of most of the rest of the world by de-emphasizing the actual invention date.

A lot of informed people think that the change to first-to-file will be a boon to patent trolls because they will be able to file patent applications on inventions released, but not yet filed on, by underfunded startups. However, the term “first-to-file” is a bit of a misnomer. In the United States, whether under first-to-invent or first-to-file, an inventor can publicly disclose their invention, such as in a blog post, and still file a patent application within one year of that public disclosure. The system being implemented under the AIA is not a true first-to-file system as in most foreign countries because this grace period on public disclosure will remain. Thus, the new system can really be considered a “first-to-disclose” system.

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Edited by airisom2 - 2/17/13 at 9:30am