SPECIAL SUMMARY REPORT
THE GREAT DEBATE
FIRST-TO-INVENT vs. FIRST-TO-FILE
INTERNATIONAL HARMONIZATION TREATY
Distribution, Use of
#5 / #6 / #7 / #8
#9 / #10 / #11 / #12 #13 / #14 / #15
Arguments & Rebuttals
Closing Comments &
HOW DOES THE PROPOSED "FIRST-TO-FILE" PATENT SYSTEM WORK DIFFERENTLY THAN THE PRESENT U.S. SYSTEM?
Common sense dictates that only large corporations will be able to keep up with these exorbitant multiple patent, attorney andmaintenance fees for each idea.
In fact, the change in the U.S. patent system will have minimal ramifications for these large corporations that already operate under a "de facto" first-to-file basis, since they routinely file quickly in the U.S. in order to get an early effective filing date in foreign countries where first-to-file is in force.
PRIOR USER IGHTS:
Under the "first-to-file" system, there is a provision which gives individuals who were using, making or selling the invention prior to the filing date of the first applicant, a limited right to continue using, making and selling it.
This provision denies the exclusivity which is the heart and soul of the U.S. patent laws. The "prior user right" is little consolation to the true inventor whose idea may have easily been pirated under the "first-to-file" system. This provision inherently insures piracy and competition from the one who has the financial clout to file early and who is also able to establish a superior position in the marketplace.
And if the true inventor happens to also be the first-to-file, he is automatically insured competition from other "prior users" who have been using, making or selling his idea, without ever having any legal recourse to stop them or collect licensing fees. Either way, it strips the incentive out of the patent process for all but the large financially established companies around the world.
Since these large corporations are self-sufficient in that they ahve their own in-house research facilities, financing, experts, and patent attorneys standing by, ready to file a patent on each improvement, they ahve a built-in system to keep the idea in secrecy within their organization.
This eliminates the large corporation's concerns about someone else taking their idea and filing first, or under the "prior user right" clause, that someone will see it and begin to use, make or sell the idea before the corporation files its patent, with no legal recourse by the corporation to stop them or collect licensing fees.
Ned Conley states in his essay, "First-to-Invent - A Superior System for the United States": "Prior user rights refers to a sop dreamed up by proponents of FIrst-to-File and intended as solace for the first inventor who loses the race to the Patent and Trademark Office. [ Back to top ]