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2011年10月 的Archive

美國發明法案 (Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, AIA):寬限期的規定

2011年10月1日 評論已關閉

根據電子時報9月27日的報導 (【美國專利法改革 實不利於科技企業】), 「採用先申請制就等於是取消了 1 年的寬限期,根據新法,任何已公開使用或販售的發明都將禁止申請專利,也就是說,如果發明者在商展上展示自己發明物,或是將該概念展示給天使投資人,那麼這項發明將無法申請專利。」 然而, 這個說法有誤, 因為新的美國專利法第 102 條仍有寬限期的相關規定, 也就是先前技術的例外條款 (exceptions) – 與發明人有關的公開揭露 (inventor’s own public disclosure)。因此, 發明人自己或透過他人展示自己的發明,或以其它方式「公開揭露」其發明時, 只要在事件發生後一年內申請專利, 就不會喪失發明的新穎性。需留意的是, 如果在前述公開揭露之前, 該發明已被他人公開揭露 (且此揭露與發明人無關), 那麼該發明還是會喪失新穎性。暫時申請案 (provisional application)、發明人所導致的公開揭露以及正式申請案 (non-provisional application) 三者在專利佈局策略方面應有的考量, 令人關注;近年來, 許多律師、法學教授、專利專家等均提出以新法為基礎的最佳專利實務 (best practice), 但這些策略建議需等到相關判例出現之後才會比較具有參考價值。

Sec. 102. Conditions for patentability; novelty

(a)    Novelty; Prior Art- A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—

1.    the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or

2.    the claimed invention was described in a patent issued under section 151, or in an application for patent published or deemed published under section 122(b), in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.

(b)    Exceptions-

1.    DISCLOSURES MADE 1 YEAR OR LESS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE FILING DATE OF THE CLAIMED INVENTION- A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if—

A.    the disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or

B.    the subject matter disclosed had, before such disclosure, been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor.

2.    DISCLOSURES APPEARING IN APPLICATIONS AND PATENTS- A disclosure shall not be prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2) if–

A.    the subject matter disclosed was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor;

B.    the subject matter disclosed had, before such subject matter was effectively filed under subsection (a)(2), been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or

C.    the subject matter disclosed and the claimed invention, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.

(c)    {CREATE ACT Save for later}

(d)    Patents and Published Applications Effective as Prior Art- For purposes of determining whether a patent or application for patent is prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2), such patent or application shall be considered to have been effectively filed, with respect to any subject matter described in the patent or application—

1.    if paragraph (2) does not apply, as of the actual filing date of the patent or the application for patent; or

2.    if the patent or application for patent is entitled to claim a right of priority under section 119, 365(a), or 365(b), or to claim the benefit of an earlier filing date under section 120, 121, or 365(c), based upon 1 or more prior filed applications for patent, as of the filing date of the earliest such application that describes the subject matter.

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