Chapter 3: First-inventor-to-file under the America Invents Act: A view of first-to-file lawyer and a view of first-to-invent lawyer
On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the America Invents Act (‘AIA’) into law and ended the long patent law debate over the first-to-file v. first-to-invent priority. After the Philippines’ switch to the first-to-file in 1998, the U.S. has been the only country to follow the first-to-invent priority. The United States (U.S.) first-to-invent priority finds root in the Statute of Monopoly where any letters of patent were granted to the true and first inventor. Because these terms are copied in the first U.S. patent statute and some patent systems in common law countries which are based on the Statute of Monopoly, such as Canada and the Philippines, used to follow the first-to-invent priority, scholars in civil law countries may view the first-to-invent priority as a tradition in common law countries. On the other hand, some U.S. scholars view the first-to-invent as a tradition unique to the U.S. and fiercely protect the tradition, arguing that a patent grant to a first to-file who is not a first-to-invent is unconstitutional.
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