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Mary Bellis

Invention Theft and The America Invents Act

By April 8, 2012

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Invention TheftThe America Invents Act (AIA) will make the US a first-to-file country and end the first-to-invent rule that had been in place, the changes will apply to patent applications with an effective filing date of March 16, 2013 or later.

How will these changes effect inventors? I can tell you one thing everybody is getting worried about invention theft. And inventors are becoming even more reluctant to show non-patented inventions to potential investors even with a nondisclosure agreement.

John Villasenor over at Fast Company has written an interesting article entitled How To Protect Your Company From Invention Theft that discusses the situation and gives a few common sense tips on how a company can protect itself, by safeguarding intellectual property, by not using unencrypted laptops, not forwarding company emails to personal accounts, avoiding careless conversations, and shortening the time that elapses before taking steps to patent. Photo credit: Vincent Besnault/Getty Images

Comments
April 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm
(1) Charles Barnard says:

This makes theft of inventions much cheaper for the mega-corps.

Keeping research and development is nearly impossible for anything complex–unless you never ask anyone else questions….

April 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm
(2) Stuart Fox says:

Hi Mary, I’ve enjoyed your informative articles for years many thanks.
Many advisors including Patent Offices, recommend confidentiality / non-disclosure agreements but increasingly business decline to sign them + breach of confidentiality may not be easy to prove filing a Provisional Patent Application is far more certain and you dont have to prove breach- its relatively cheap in US even free for the first year for the equivalent at the UK Patent Office and still recognized internationally to provide an excellent level of patent priority date rights for what is described its not rocket science.
Stuart Fox
Inventors Association of Australia

May 2, 2012 at 1:38 am
(3) inventors says:

I totally agree with you Stuart.

April 13, 2012 at 8:32 am
(4) Penny S Scheff says:

Does the new law discriminate more against individuals (people vs companies) who can’t afford to file patents? (It is expensive and complicated enough that it seems a lawyer is required to figure it out).

April 13, 2012 at 8:33 am
(5) Penny says:

Does the new law discriminate against people (vs companies) who can’t afford a lawyer and the filing fees? Penny S Scheff

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