Sunday, November 25, 2012

Reminder: Patent Reform: First To File Effective March 16, 2013

As many of you know, the U.S. patent system becomes a first-to-file system effective March 16, 2013.  Briefly, from that time forward it will generally be advisable to file a provisional patent application as soon as you recognize that an idea might have commercial potential.  Then, within a few months it will also usually be a good idea to follow up that filing with a regular, non-provisional patent application.  

Indeed, now that the effective date of that provision of the America Invents Act approaches, we at the Villhard Patent Group now generally recommend beginning to use that strategy even now.  For one thing, we believe that a rush to file provisional applications might occur in the weeks leading up to March 16.  That means that Patent Attorneys and their firms are probably going to be quite busy in February and March.  In addition, the Patent Office's website and electronic filing system might, just might, be overwhelmed with traffic.  The resulting possible denial-of-service-like event might frustrate your plans for timely filing a provisional application.

Also, with the new strategy of following the provisional with a non-provisional application in a timely manner, Patent Attorneys are likely to find themselves busy following the March change.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation to see if the new strategy fits your circumstances, we at the Villhard Patent Group would be happy to speak with you.  You can contact us at (512) 897-0399 or you can visit us at for more information.