My friend Evin pointed me to a new ruling that goes into effect March of 2013. I wasn’t aware of this *very important* change to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that changes our patent and trademark system “from first to invent” to “first inventor to file”:
“The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today published a proposal to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to implement the “first-inventor-to-file” provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA).
The first-inventor-to-file provision converts the United States patent system from a “first to invent” system to a first inventor to file system. The first-inventor-to-file provision, which takes effect March 16, 2013, also alters the scope of available prior art to apply against a claimed invention in determining the novelty and obviousness of the claimed invention.
Don’t wait; file sooner rather than later. Consult your patent attorney.
Read the actual USPTO announcement: USPTO Publishes Proposed Rules Governing First-Inventor-to-File.