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 &
WHO WILL THE PROPOSED U.S. CHANGE TO "FIRST-TO-FILE" AFFECT (ENCOURAGE OR DISCOURAGE) FROM DEVELOPING NEW PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGIES?
A. WHO DOES FIRST-TO-FILE ENCOURAGE?
Donald Banner, former U.S. Patent Commissioner states, there's a benefit if you're a big corporation with a multi-national filing program who already operates under a de facto first-to-file system, and by getting rid of the "first-to-invent" system in the U.S., some foreign countries will give you some additional benefits. So you can get those goodies without changing what you're doing now, and it doesn't you anything.
B. WHO DOES FIRST-TO-FILE DISCOURAGE?
Ned Conley states in his essay "First-to-Invent: A Superior System for the United States",
"The National patent Council told the Congressional Committee considering First-to-File in the 60's that such a change in the U.S. Patent laws: would load the dice against one of the most potent innovating forces in our economy: the initiative and drive of the independent inventor and small businessman."
In describing the effects to the U.S. research community, Dr. Bruce Smackey, Assistant to the V.P. of Research and Graduate Studies, College of Business and Economics, Lehigh University states in Inventor-Assistance Program news, July 1990,:
2. force continued patent filings on each improvement, on average 3-4, with the accompanying patent fees, attorney costs and maintenance fees throughout each patent's life. Of U.S. small businesses that currently experience difficulty affording one patent per idea, most will drop out of the race if they have to file multiple patents for each.
3. insure piracy and competition, which will cause psychotic paranoia in contacting resources that can help them perfect the invention because:
a. these experts could go file a patent first; b. or can establish "prior user rights" to compete without paying any licensing fees; and greatly diminish the profitability of the idea.
4. make infringement litigation prohibitive because a foreign multinational corporation could require legal proceedings in different countries of the world.
In summary, first-to-file can paralyze small businesses and independent inventors with limited resources from inventing and innovating, not only because of exorbitant patenting costs, but with the incentive of exclusivity stripped from the system, they're playing a game where the deck is stacked against them.