Notice regarding changes to US patent law

Please note that changes to US patent laws became effective on 16 March 2013, and that these changes could adversely affect your patent rights in the USA.

The US legislation includes the following significant changes:

  • Public uses and offers for sale of an invention anywhere in the world are citable against a US patent application for that invention. Previously, public uses and offers for sale made outside the USA up to one year before your US filing date would not be citable against your US application.
  • US patent applications are citable as of their foreign filing priority date against other US patent applications.  Previously, a US patent application of a third party would be citable against your US patent application only as of the date of filing of the third party’s application in the USA.
  • Evidence of an earlier date of invention is not be able to overcome a citation of another earlier filed patent application. Previously, the US granted patents to applicants who were the “first to invent” a new concept, but the new law has made the US similar to the rest of the world, where patents are granted to applicants who are the “first to file” a patent application.

Please contact us if you require any clarification of this issue or if you would like to discuss how these legislative changes might impact your specific circumstances.