Filing of certified copies of priority documents: no change for design patent applicants

February 28, 2013
On March 16, 2013, the First-Inventor-To-File (FITF) provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) will become effective.  In preparation for the new statute, the USPTO published its final rules on the FITF on February 14, 2013. 

In general, these final rules relate to the statutory changes to the definitions of novelty and prior art.  One of the changes is that a U.S. patent or a U.S. patent application publication has a prior art effect as of the filing date of the foreign priority application for the subject matter disclosed in the priority document.  In reaction to this change, new Rule 37 CFR 1.55(f) will require applicants to systematically file a certified copy of the foreign application, or an interim copy of the foreign application, within the later of four months from the actual filing date of the application or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application. 


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