Palamida On patents

First to File

Posted by Mark Tolliver on September 7, 2011

The US patent system is finally close to a major revision. The key provision is a change from ‘first to invent’ to ‘first to file’. It makes complete sense since IP ownership can be clearly traced to a document with a date, which will greatly reduce the incentive to litigate to figure out who was first to invent. It’s a step in the right direction – although not exactly a breakthrough. The rest of the world uses this system already. This system clearly favors large firms with the resources and processes to file fast and file often – and will put small firms at a disadvantage. We’ve filed for (and received) several patents – and writing the application is time-consuming, especially when your day job lasts well into the evening. It would be helpful to have a shortform application for firms in their first few years after incorporation so that they could go on record as the author, and fill in the full application over time. In any case, it’s a good step, and I hope we will see more common sense changes in subsequent revisions.

Read more on What the new patent reform act means for innovation at Fast Company.

Mark Tolliver

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