The United States has recently upgraded provisions of its patent law with the implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA). It is the first significant change to the said law in decades, and would hopefully rationalize the process of application and grant of patents. The revised system aims to promote a more streamlined patent issuance procedure.
In this regard, Janet Gongola, patent reform coordinator of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an agency of the Department of Commerce, posted some guidelines on its website regarding the new law. They are valuable to those who want to apply for patents and to any legal practitioner such as a registered Miami patent attorney, for example, who is representing said applicant. The USPTO can now grant patents to inventors on a first-to-file basis instead of the old process where inventors had to prove they were the first to invent or discover anything.
With the March 16, 2013 effective date of the new law the USPTO advises patent applicants of two legal frameworks under which patents may be awarded: pre-AIA (first-to-invent) or AIA (first-inventor-to-file). Three possible scenarios are likely to arise during the application process that will determine which framework to apply.
If the application was filed before the law went into effect and all claims made are to applications filed before the said date, it will be subject to the pre-AIA law. On the other hand, if the application is filed after March 16, 2013, but all relevant issues contained therein are to applications filed on or after the law’s implementation, the application is subject to the current AIA law. Lastly, if the application is made after March 16, 2013, but domestic and foreign claims included in the application refer to those filed before the said date, the applicant must file a statement under 37 CFR 1.55 or 1.78 with the USPTO. The latter is considered as a “transition” application.
A patent applicant may still find the new procedures complicated, especially those who do not know the ins and outs of government bureaucratic processes. Indeed, some errors may be committed in the application that can cause further delays in the issuance of a patent. The best way to handle this situation and overcome any difficulty is to hire a competent Florida patent attorney to help in the process.
Patent attorneys who are registered to offer such services like those from Lhota & Associates provide security for intellectual property assets like patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. They not only have the required legal background but also possess technical and engineering experience to competently handle cases of this nature. These lawyers assist people and businesses that require U.S. and foreign patent protection.
If you want to protect your invention, discovery, or business from any copycats, getting the services of reliable patent attorneys can achieve the purpose. They know the law and can represent you before the USPTO to get the necessary patent to protect your interests.