Today the USPTO has published final rules of practice implementing the first-inventor-to-file provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The AIA was recently reported by regular mail to clients and also by blog post here. A pre-publication version of the final rules is available here.
The USPTO also today published final examination guidelines setting forth the agency’s interpretation of how the first-inventor-to-file provision alters novelty and obviousness determinations for an invention claimed in a patent application. In particular, the agency’s final examination guidelines inform the public and patent examiners how the AIA’s changes to the novelty provisions of law alter the scope of what is prior art to a claimed invention and how the new grace period operates.
The USPTO will be providing a public training session on the first-inventor-to-file final rules and examination guidelines to be held on Friday March 8, 2013 at the USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The training session will be webcast. Details on webcast access will be available on the AIA micro-site at www.uspto.gov/AmericaInventsAct.