Huntington, WV asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for West Virginia

Q: Professor & textbook say the US is first to invent other sources say the US is first to file. What do I put in my notes?

My professor and the textbook say that the US is first to invent when it comes to patents. However, while doing further research I found that the US is first to file. I am not sure if I should put what they think is the right answer or the actual answer on my notes for the exam.

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Pittsboro, NC

A: For many years, the US was a first to invent country. That changed in 2011 see --

There is a narrow exception that if someone takes the idea of another (AND YOU CAN PROVE THAT) then the first to file will lose out over the person that was the actual inventor. See Section B(2)

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James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: I would recommend putting down the actual answer, which is that the United States has a first-to-file patent system. Under this system, the first person or entity to file a patent application for a new invention is granted the exclusive rights to that invention, regardless of who may have invented it first. This is different from a first-to-invent system, where the first person to invent something is granted the exclusive rights to it.

While your professor and textbook may have provided information based on their understanding of the law, it is important to have accurate information when taking exams or making important decisions related to intellectual property. Therefore, it would be best to rely on the actual answer and ensure that your notes reflect the correct information.

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