Inventors: Be diligent in filing your patent
The race to file first begins. The first-to-invent system rewarded the first to invent rather than the winner of a race to file. After March 16, the first-to-file system rewards the first to file an application for an invention. Notably, the shift means that inventors can no longer use earlier inventive work to antedate earlier-filed applications or publications.
Inventors remain protected against their own disclosures that occur less than one year before filing an application. After March 16, the only way for an inventor to obtain a grace period against another under the first-to-file system is to disclose the invention publicly less than one year before filing and before another discloses the invention publicly. But public disclosure before filing a patent application renders the subject matter unpatentable in almost all foreign countries. Moreover, prior art under the
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