Presentation on theme: "The America Invents Act (AIA) - Rules and Implications of First to File, Prior Art, and Non-obviousness -"— Presentation transcript:
1 The America Invents Act (AIA) - Rules and Implications of First to File, Prior Art, and Non-obviousness -
2 AIA Provisions** and Dates of Enactment Expansion of “Prior Art”“First-to-File” replaces “First-to-Invent”New Procedures for Declarations and OathsStatements by Patent OwnersPre-Issuance submissions by 3rd PartiesElimination of “Best Mode” Requirement“Tax Strategies” Unpatentable“Human Organisms” UnpatentableSeptember 16, 2011September 16, 2012March 16, 2013**Please note that these provisions are not all-inclusive
3 Statements by Patent Owner What: A statement of the patent owner filed by the patent owner in a proceeding before a Federal Court or the USPTO in which the patent owner took a position on the scope of any claim of the patent may be filed.Who: Can be submitted by either a 3rd party or the patent owner.When: The USPTO will consider such a statement after reexamination has been ordered.Why: Claim construction standards for reexamination are unaffected; this written statement will be weighed with all other relevant information in making a determination of the proper claim scope and meaning.
4 Pre-Issuance Submissions What: A patent, published patent application, or other printed publications of potential relevance to the examination of a patent application.Who: Can be submitted by anybody except the applicant or any individual who has a duty to disclose information with respect to the application.When: Such a submission statutorily must be made in a patent application before the earlier of:A) the date a notice of allowance is given or mailed, ORB) the later of:i) 6 months after the date on which the application is first published by the USPTO, ORii) The date of the first rejection of any claim by the ExaminerWhy: A concise description of relevance must be presented, but not in any particular format, to the USPTO.Cost: A fee of $180 for every 10 documents listed or fraction thereof, unless a fee exemption applies where the submitter is exempt from paying a fee for a submission of 3 or fewer documents, provided it is the submitter’s first such submission and the party files a “first and only” statement.
5 When is First-to-File effective? Applications filed BEFORE March 16, 2013?Any application filed BEFORE March 16, 2013 is governed by pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and by pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103Applications filed ON or AFTER March 16, 2013?The FITF provisions apply to ANY patent application that contains, or contained at any time:1) A claimed invention that has an effective filing date that is ON or AFTER March 16, 2013; OR2) A designation as a continuation, divisional, or continuation-in-part of an application that contains, or contained at any time, a claimed invention that has an effective filing date that is ON or AFTER March 16, 2013.
6 Comparing Europe and US Patent Systems Provision- Current Scheme- Effective March 16, 2013First-to-File- None- ONE (1) year from the effective filing dateGrace Period- Not required- Failure to disclose is NOT a basis to invalidate a patentBest Mode- Novel- Involves an “inventive” step (solves a “technical” problem)- Non-obviousStandard
7 35 U.S.C. 102(a) – Novelty; Prior Art A person shall be entitled to a patent unless …(1) “The claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention, OR(2) “The claimed invention was described in a patent issued … or in an application for patent published … , in which the patent or application … names another inventor was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.”
8 35 U.S.C. 102(b) – The Exceptions (1) “A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if:(A) the disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; OR(B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such disclosure, been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor.”
9 35 U.S.C. 102(b) – The Exceptions 35 U.S.C. 102(b) (continued):(2) “A disclosure shall not be prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2) if:(A) the subject matter disclosed was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor;(B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such subject matter was effectively filed under subsection (a)(2), been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; OR(C) the subject matter disclosed and the claimed invention, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.”
10 35 U.S.C. 103 – Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter A patent for a claimed invention may not be obtained, notwithstanding that the claimed invention is not identically disclosed as set forth in section 102, if the differences between the claimed invention and the prior art are such that the claimed invention as a whole would have been obvious before the effective filing date of the claimed invention to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the claimed invention. Patentability shall not be negated by the manner in which the invention was made.
12 35 U.S.C. 102(a) – Implications (contd.) Need not be in the US: Under the AIA, a prior public use, sale activity, or other disclosure has no geographic limitation to qualify as prior art.Elimination of Prior Provisions: The FITF provisions of the AIA eliminate the provisions of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(c) (abandonment of the invention), 35 U.S.C. 102(d) (premature foreign patenting), 35 U.S.C. 102(f) (derivation**), 35 U.S.C. 102(g) (prior invention by another).**Note A “derivation proceeding” will now govern the situation in which an application names a person, who is not the actual inventor, as the inventor via a correction of inventorship.WIPO Publications of PCT applications: Under the AIA, those that designate the US are treated in the same way as US patent application publications for prior art purposes, regardless of the international filing date or whether they are published in English.
13 35 U.S.C. 102(a) - Implications (contd.) Written Description v. Description Sufficient to Anticipate a Claim: Under the AIA, for purposes of anticipation, a prior art document need only describe and enable one skilled in the art to make a single species or embodiment of the claimed invention.Elimination of “how to use”: Under the AIA, there is no requirement that a prior art document meet the “how to use” requirement of the written description in order to qualify as prior art.Admissions: Under the AIA, the USPTO will continue to treat admissions by the applicant as prior art.For example, a statement by the applicant in the Specification or made during prosecution identifying the work of another as “prior art” is an admission, which can be relied upon for both anticipation and obviousness determinations.
14 35 U.S.C. 102(a) – Implications (contd.) Prior Art Expansion: The catch-all “otherwise available to the public” category of prior art is added. Even if a document or other disclosure is not a printed publication, or a transaction is not a sale, either may be prior art under “otherwise available”, provided that the claimed invention was made sufficiently available to the public.Inclusion of “names another inventor”: Under the AIA, if there is any difference in inventive entity between the prior art US patent, US patent application publication or WIPO published application and the application under examination or patent under reexamination, then this prior art satisfies the “names another inventor” provision of 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2), unless a 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2) exception applies.Elimination of “by others”: Under the AIA, it is no longer necessary that the prior art relied upon was “known or used ‘by others’ in this country.” However, note the 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(1) exception to 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1).
15 35 U.S.C. 102(b) - Implications1 Year Grace Period: 102(b)(1) provides a 1 year grace period** after a first disclosure of an invention within which to file a patent application.**Note This grace period is measured from the earliest U.S. or foreign patent application to which the patent or application is entitled to benefit or priority as to such invention (whereas before, the grace period in pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b) was measured from only the earliest application filed in the US).Irrelevancy of “Date of Invention”: The date of invention is not relevant under 35 U.S.C A prior art disclosure can not be disqualified or antedated by showing that the inventor invented the claimed invention prior to the effective date of the prior art disclosure of the subject matter.
16 35 U.S.C. 103 – ImplicationsGeneral Rule: Under the AIA, pre-AIA notions of “obviousness” will continue to apply.Effective Filing Date: Under the AIA, 35 U.S.C. 103 determines “obviousness” as of the effective filing date of the claimed invention.Whereas before, under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103, such a determination was as of the time that the claimed invention was made.Negligible Terminology: Under the AIA, 35 U.S.C. 103 requires consideration of “the differences between the claimed invention and the prior art”.Whereas before, pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103 refers to “the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art.”This difference in terminology does not indicate the need for any difference in approach to the question of “obviousness.”