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Benefits of filing U.S. provisional applications until 16 March 2013

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Benefits of filing U.S. provisional applications until 16 March 2013

Benefits of filing U.S. provisional applications until 16 March 2013

Once the U.S. provisions relating to the First-Inventor-to-File system come into effect on 16 March 2013, foreign priority applications will have the same benefits as U.S. provisional applications.

One of the many effects of patent reform in the United States is removing the distinction between U.S. provisional applications and foreign priority applications. Once the U.S. provisions relating to the First-Inventor-to-File system come into effect on 16 March 2013, foreign priority applications will have the same benefits as U.S. provisional applications. Until that time, however, the advantages of filing U.S. provisional applications will continue to exist.

 

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act was recently enacted on 16 September 2011. The reform bill changes a number of patent law provisions which go into effect at different time points. The provisions relating to "First-Inventor-to-File" will come into effect on 16 March 2013. From that time on, foreign priority applications will have the same benefits as U.S. provisional applications. 

 

Until 16 March 2013, however, the current system applies in which a U.S. provisional application provides several advantages over the filing of a foreign priority application. In particular, the filing date of a U.S. provisional application sets the date for determining the 1-year prior art grace period, as well as the date by which a U.S. application becomes prior art for other U.S. applications. Clients wishing to take advantage of such benefits should continue filing U.S. provisional applications until the First-Inventor-to-File system comes into effect.

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