Several significant patent law reforms will go into effect at the end of the week as the transition to a first to file system commences on March 16. As companies continue to speculate on the long-term consequences of this America Invents Act provision, many are fast-tracking applications in the hopes of securing protections under the familiar rules of current code.
While the revised legislation is designed to establish harmony among international patent laws and promote more efficient administration, the thought of abandoning the traditional first to invent system has been unsettling to some. According to Upstart Business Journal, there is still a lingering fear that the new system could put smaller firms at a disadvantage on account of their comparatively meager legal resources - despite continued government assurances to the contrary.
As a result, companies are condensing in-house application processing timetables to ensure filing prior to week's end. According to Boston Globe contributor Chin Pham, this flurry of deadline-day activity could be particularly important considering the incoming legislation also incorporates larger pools of prior art into patent prosecution procedures.
Nevertheless, companies of all sizes are adjusting to new realities. According to Upstart Business Journal, the consensus is that so-called "stealth mode" strategies will fall out of favor as inventors realize the significance of transparently documenting their progress in legally defensible manners.