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Patent office issues 'first to invent' rule

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published its proposed rules for implementing the "first-inventor-to-file" provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (H.R. 1249).  Under the USPTO's new rule, the "first-inventor-to-file" would be awarded the patent, rather than the individual who was "first-to-invent" as was practiced before the patent reform bill was signed into law. In addition to amending the rules of patent practice, the USPTO is proposing examination guidelines to inform both the public and patent examiners of its interpretation of the first-inventor-to-file provision.

The proposed rules and guidelines are open for public comment until October 5, 2012. The USPTO also plans to discuss the proposed rules and guidance at a series of events around the country.

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