The times are changing?

August 01, 2011

US Senate Passes the America Invents Act The US Senate has recently passed the America Invents Act. In order for it to become law, it must be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President.

The America Invents Act could result in a number of changes being made to US patent law. One of the most significant changes is the movement from the current “first to invent” system to a “first to file” system which is similar to that used in all of the other major economies in the world (including Europe). In a “first to file” system, the right to be granted a patent for a given invention resides with the first person to file a patent application for that invention. In America’s current “first to invent” system, the right to be granted a patent for a given invention resides with the first person to conceive the invention and diligently “reduce the invention to practice”. This may be done by filing a patent application or building a working apparatus. However, even if the invention is reduced to practice by building a working apparatus, it is still important to file a patent application without delay. Under the current “first to invent” system, it is possible to obtain valid patent application in the US even if the inventor/applicant has already published details of the invention, provided that the publication occurred less than one year before a US patent application was filed. This contrasts with the “first to file” system, in which it is not possible to obtain valid patent protection for an invention once details of the invention have been published. Swindell & Pearson Ltd has a long history of obtaining valuable US patent protection for its clients. For further information contact Scott Harrison [email protected]

Swindell & Pearson has been helping businesses and individuals protect and defend their ideas, innovations and brands for over 130 years. With its head office in Derby, the firm also has offices in Stoke, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Sheffield and Burton. To find out how Swindell & Pearson can help you with any intellectual property requirements please get in touch via [email protected] or by telephone on 01332 367 051.