Prior Use Rule May Lead To More Secrets, Fewer Patents

Law360, New York (November 10, 2011, 6:38 PM EST) -- A provision of the America Invents Act that creates a defense to infringement based on prior commercial use of an invention may lead to greater reliance on trade secrets and a drop in patent applications, and leaves questions about what evidence is needed to gain the protection, attorneys say.

The prior user rights provision applies to situations where someone came up with an invention, used it commercially and chose not to apply for patent protection, then was sued for infringement by someone who had later obtained...
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