Patently Absurd

What Happens to Startups Now That the Senate Says Patents are Based on ‘First to File’ Instead of ‘First to Invent’?

George Lucas's patent.

The Senate voted 89-to-9 yesterday to approve the America Invests Act, a sweeping bill that will rehaul the country’s broken patent system for the first time in decades. Patents will now be awarded on a “first to file” basis, ostensibly doing away with the expensive, drawn out legal battles to determine “first to invent.” Although the bill has been years in the making, “first to file” is already used as a barometer in Europe and Asia.

But as the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times report, some small companies allege that this isn’t exactly the kind of reform they were looking for, claiming that the bill favors corporations that can shell out for teams of patent lawyers as opposed to small businesses that are typically responsible for creating new jobs. Read More