Time is running out! The (mostly) final piece of patent reform legislation goes into effect on March 16, 2013. In order to have new patent applications or patent applications claiming newly added subject matter considered under current law/rules, such patent applications must be filed on or before March 15th.
Widely known as the conversion to a “first-to-file” system, there are a number of changes which will be taking effect, many of which will harmonize US practices with global practices. Generally speaking, the body of prior art will be expanding, and the options for overcoming prior art will be shrinking; thus there is a pretty clear advantage to obtaining an effective filing date prior to March 16th. There is likely to be a rush to file patent applications in advance of the change date, so if you have plans to file such an application it would be wise to speak with a patent attorney as soon as possible.
For additional information on this or any other patent issue, feel free to contact Lisa Treannie.