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First to invent vs. first to file a patent. What does it mean?

intellectual property

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 06:58 PM

So I was reading an article about a patent dispute and learned that US patent law has changed. Am I reading this right? Being an inventor of something no longer means they are the patent holder... rather they have to file it?


The way it's described sounds like I could just pick something off the internet which someone had intended to make public domain and patent it... Is that correct? Do we have to patent something first if we want it to be public domain? Doesn't that add expense? Should they make it free since the invention is intended for the public domain? Seems like a burden is being created for those who just want the world to have it. 

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:36 AM

I am pretty sure "first to file" does not allow you to essentially "steal" other ideas off the Internet. You still have to prove that you invented it. It is often the case that separate inventors around the world will invent something at nearly the same time (without knowing about the other inventors). In this case, "first to file" can help out, because it might be difficult to figure out who exactly invented it first.


IMO, patents have outlived their usefulness in our hyper-connected world. There are hardly any "novel" inventions anymore.

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