The Myth Of First-To-File: AIA's First-To-Disclose System

Law360, New York (November 2, 2011, 12:45 PM EDT) -- Section 3 of the Smith-Leahy America Invents Act (“AIA”), entitled “First Inventor to File,” has generated a tremendous amount of controversy. While many view a first-to-file system as a step toward harmonization of U.S. patent laws with those of other countries, others have voiced concern over the resulting “race to the patent office.”[1]

However, neither position is entirely correct. The AIA does not promote harmonization by creating a first-to-file system. Nor will it necessarily lead to a race to the patent office. Instead, the legislation creates...
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