March 16th 2013 marked the day. Through the America Invents Act (AIA), the US has now fully implemented the largest changes to US patent law in decades. The changes are plentiful and with great impact – some impacts known, some still unknown. Changes address both fundamental principles of the US patent system as well as practical considerations. The changes include:
- Ending first-to-invention principle and replaced with the “rest-of-the-world” first-to-file system, but keeping a grace period, creating some new possible complications/situations
- A new definition of prior art: the date from which a US application is effective as prior art has changed, reducing or removing the need for filing US provisional applications in parallel with foreign applications
- New post-grant proceedings similar to opposition proceedings in Europe.
- The assignee can now be the applicant
- A less strict formal process for filing declarations, assignments and power of attorneys
These changes will impact our clients’ filing strategies and processes for handling patent prosecution. Zacco attorneys are specialists in European and international IP practice. We have a strong external network of US attorneys to help us guide you and determine how the changes impact you. Contact us to set up a meeting to discuss how the AIA may impact you.