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First inventor to file is a system used for organizing patent applications by the date that they are filed. These ordering or priority systems have a major impact on who is awarded patent ownership for a trade secret. Traditionally, the United States operated under the old first to invent rule. First inventor to file or first to file was recently introduced in the united states with the introduction of the AIA in 2011. First to file is now a global standard for patent priority with all of the IP5 nations operating a first to file system. The first to file system demands that patent applications are filed earlier in the trade secret stage of development. Due to stricter disclosure requirements, first to file systems require that complete and detailed provisional or non-provisional applications are filed for true priority to be claimed by a patent holder. First to file provides more value and protection from a patent; in the United States this priority system makes patents the only protection for invention rights.
Priority systems have their roots in more recent patent laws. In the early years of intellectual property, patent applicants were often elite individuals and filings were few and far between. In the 250 years since the Industrial Revolution, inventions have waited in long lines before processing and consideration by patent officials. Priority systems function by keeping an official place in line for inventions. A first inventor to file priority system means that the filing date of a complete patent application will be used to determine the place in line. With all major government intellectual property offices working under a first to file priority system, independents benefit from a uniform and fair priority system. However, the additional urgency to complete patent applications and trade secret development creates challenges for independents, too. In response to first to file laws, invention promotion companies have offered patent pending schemes which mis-use provisional applications, often leaving inventors with a false priority or priority on a filing with very little valuable detail.
The first to file system was designed for independent inventors and small businesses. This law creates a level playing field for all inventors whether corporate or independent. Still, to succeed in claiming patent rights before any other entity, an inventor must act very efficiently to establish a production team early in the trade secret stage. Because of the new urgency associated with completing a patent application, many independent inventors have become involved with patent pending schemes offered by patent marketing or invention promotion companies. These schemes, more often than not, produce incomplete or empty applications to obtain a patent pending status. Other inventors have taken advantage of recent technologies that allow hundreds of inventors to reduce and share costs associated with hiring industry-standard professionals. As an independent or an individual approaching intellectual property for the first time, it is important to understand that this change in patent law does not mean a filing needs to be made immediately or in any rush. Rather, establishing a confidential submission and a clear strategy for approaching the patent process becomes more time-sensitive.
Patent services was founded in response to the America Invents Act and the first to file priority system. We anticipated a significant increase in demand for qualified intellectual property law contractors, and the need to make these resources accessible to independent inventors and entrepreneurs without major corporate backing. In fact, in recent years global patent offices have reported a statistical boom in patent filings. In this competitive environment, it is important for inventors to get their patent filing in place, while completing all of the necessary trade secret development steps required for licensing or using a patent in a startup venture. Our patent clearinghouse technologies help to combine the buying leverage of hundreds of inventors pursuing their projects. It has become a revolutionary way for independents to get access to top level services at less cost than traditional patent marketing offerings which fell short of industry standards. Get involved with the largest network of independent professional inventors. Register here. If you are considering a patent filing, the first step is a careful screening and the establishment of a statement of nondisclosure. Get started with your project here.