As often discussed on this blog, the US introduced changes to its patent law in 2011, which amended the system to grant all patent rights to the company that files for a patent first. In other words, if Company A files for a patent only one day earlier than Company B, Company A will exclusively profit from that invention. In years past, those with a proven date of invention had certain rights. Companies are adapting their research and development strategies to these new laws. ‚First to File’ will make markets more secretive, more competitive, and faster-moving. You may be wondering how you can best prepare your company for coming market changes. Here are three ways to get started:
1. Work in smaller teams. Develop your products with smaller groups of people. Keep information on a need-to-know basis. The more people get involved with a new project, the more likely it will be discussed where it shouldn’t be.
2. Redevelop existing products faster and more often. If another group files for an idea that improves on your product and gets a filing date before you, you may be faced with serious restrictions to your own development possibilities going forward. As soon as you develop a product and file for its patent, start working on redeveloping an improved version of it. You should have a new version of your product in the wings as soon as possible.
3. Get to the Patent Office faster and more often. As soon as you develop a new idea or improvement to your existing product, file a provisional patent. Since you will be filing more patents for more ideas under this new system, consider alternative filing options such as online services to save costs on your provisional patent applications. With PatentFiler.com, you can obtain a provisional filing date within 48 hours for $295.