Whether your jurisdiction is "First to Invent" (USA) or "First to File" (rest of world), patentability still requires Novelty and Non-Obviousness. This should prevent patents being issued for techniques which are already in use and on sale.
I do think it is good to strengthen provisions for challenging bad patents. This can help ease the tension between trying to rush patent processing (to reduce the backlog) and issuing junk patents.
Remember that the origin of 'Letters Patent' was _not_ fairness to inventors, but was to advance the State of the Art by giving inventors incentive to publish (in return for a limited period of exclusive license), rather than retaining new ideas as Trade Secrets.
If reason stands here, the first to commercially use a technology might apply to Company A who had been using the tech to build widgets, perhaps keeping it as a trade secret, after which Company B later re-discovers the tech and files for a patent. At that point, Company A would be held harmless for infringement and licensing ????
OTOH, it might be meant to prevent trolls from patenting some technique that everyone in the industry thought was obvious and did not merit a patent.
Amendment 10 (The actual First-to-file clause), which was brought to the floor by MI-Rep., J. Conyers, was successfully voted down after being declared out-of-order because a member had not been recognized in the Well. This was the heart of the Bill. I'm not sure aspects of this article are correct.
Oh great. With the patent "reform", if I'm selling a product and some aspect of it is patented by the coming new breed of patent trolls, then I could end up paying to sell my own design! This is also terrible for the little guy who doesn't have the resources to churn out patents.
It would seem the best thing to do is to file, file, and file. File early and often just to make sure. I am wondering about the first to use clause the article talked about. How would that work? If I patent an idea but someone else then brings it to market do I lose the patent, do they get rights to use MY patent. Just wondering... I did hear from a patent attorney earlier last week who said that "first to file" may make it easier (lower cost) to protect ideas as it prevents lawsuits over "who came up with the idea first". Still not too sure but time will tell, the devil is in the details...
This first to file thing seems to be very bad for small businesses. Instead of writing papers and bringing products to market, I must now file patents on every invention.
Do I understand this correctly? Even if I publish or have a witnessed signed notebook, someone that files a patent can prevent me from using my invention.
I canít afford to patent every invention I have.
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