November 2009
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The USPTO Embraces the Blogosphere, Lobbies for First-to-File


Kappos: “Hey Ted, can you show me how these here tubes work?”

The U.S. Government Agency that is responsible for validating which technologies are new and useful has discovered a not so new, yet highly useful tool: web logs.

In an effort to open a line of communication between the USPTO and the practitioners who deal with the office on a daily basis, newly sworn in Director David Kappos published the inaugural post on his new blog.  In it, he takes up the long-raging debate over whether moving to a first-to-file system of prosecution would have a drastic impact on the U.S. patent system.

The United States is unique in its position that the first to invent, not the first to file an application, should be the person to receive a patent for her invention.  The rest of the civilized world holds the opposite view, giving patent protection to the first party to have her paperwork in.  The first-to-file system eliminates the possibility of complicated and expensive arguments over who can prove the date of her invention.  The downside is that someone could miss out on a patent for her invention, simply because she took an extra day to draft an application.

Congress has slipped this change into several proposed patent reform bills over the last several years, but it has failed, as of yet, to reach bicameral approval.

This post was originally published on The Tactical IP Blog.

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