Posted on Jan 29, 2020

Law Office of Gerald R. Prettyman

THE POSTMARK IS DEAD – Part I
This article is not about postage or the Post Office. It is, rather, about inventors needing to file a patent application to protect proof of invention.
The title refers to the “first to invent” notion that a person could mail a description of an invention and using the postmark as proof of prior invention. There is no, if scant, evidence that a postmark proof ever worked.
Even if ever true, the postmark rule is dead. The 2013 law America Inventors Act (AIA) made the U.S. a first to file country. While there were lamentations that first to file would kill individual inventors from patents, the first to invent rule actually blocked U.S. inventors and companies from international patents because everyone else has used the first to file rule for a long time.
Since AIA passed, the number of U.S. patent applications has greatly increased and U.S. inventors are joining the global market by the thousands. AIA also introduced micro-entity fees for individual inventors of just 25% of the large entity fee. A qualifying individual inventor can now file a provisional patent application for just $70 while non-provisional patent application filing fees are under $1000.
Post Continued in Part II.
Got a Bright Idea for a Patent, Trademark or Copyright? Please contact Gerald R. Prettyman, Patent Attorney at grplaw@gmail.com or call +1(925)600-7342.
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