Wednesday, January 18, 2012

PTO Reports - Prior User Rights and International Patent Protection for Small Businesses

On January 13, 2012, the PTO delivered to Congress the Prior User Rights Report and the International Patent Protection for Small Businesses Report as required by the American Invents Act (AIA).  The following links lead to PDF copies of the reports:

The Prior User Rights Defense Report compares US prior user rights with that of foreign countries. It considers prior user right's impact on innovation, startups, small businesses, and individual inventors. And it looks at how first-to-file in the AIA relates to the prior user rights defense.

Under current law, the prior user defense is limited to business method patents. The AIA expands the defense to any subject matter provided (1) the subject matter was reduced to practice and commercially used at least one year before the patent's effective filing date or the patent owner's disclosure of the invention, whichever is earlier; and (2) the subject matter wasn't derived from the patent owner or an entity or person in privity (having a legal interest in the patent) with the patent owner.

The International Patent Protection for Small Business Report considers how to help small businesses with respect to foreign patent protection.

The PTO prepared the reports with the United States Trade Representative, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, the US Small Business Administration and incorporated input from public hearings and comments.

Copyright © 2012 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.