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Time to Revisit Your Company’s IP Strategy

The America Invents Act, recently passed by the House and Senate, will significantly change current U.S. patent laws. Its potential impact on early-stage technology companies and individual inventors is a matter of some dispute but all seem to agree that all parties must understand the new rules of the game and adjust their intellectual property (IP) strategies accordingly.

In addition to changing the basis for patent priority dates from “first-to-invent” to “first-to-file” the new law provides a mechanism for challenging new patent applications at the USPTO prior to a patent being issued. Small business advocates contend the changes put innovators at a disadvantage because they typically have limited financial resources but will be forced to file patent applications earlier in the development process before the potential value of an invention is well understood. Proponents of the law claim the new process will make the patent review process faster and less expensive.

The bottom line … if your business strategy depends on protection of IP, learn how the new laws will affect your future decisions.

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Michael P. Kurek, PhD, MBA, Partner, BBC