The proponents of so called “Patent Reform” have been pushing the misleading idea that the bill does not change the US to a “First-to-File” but to a “First-Inventor-to-File.” There is no such thing as “first-inventor-to-file.” Only one person or group can be an inventor, the other people are just clever engineers. For instance, if I recreated calculus without any apparent training in calculus, that would not make me the discover of calculus, it would just make me clever at math.
Proponents argue we do not have a “first-to-invent” system today but a first to invent who is diligent. A number small inventors and start-up companies I know have had to put off patent and development efforts because of lack of funding. These groups would not receive patents for their inventions when a bigger company outspent them and filed first. Under the “first-to-invent” rule these people are awarded the patent.
Finally, these situations where two people come up with similar or the same invention independently are extremely rare. The only justification for changing our patent system to a “first-to-file” system is harmonization. But the countries that have a “first-to-invent” system do not have a vibrant start-up market or independent inventor sector. Since the SBA has shown that most emerging technologies are created by start-up companies and individual inventors, this change in our system will only hurt our economy.
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