Although the legislative switch to a "first-to-file" system invokes the idea of eliminating priority contests between two competing inventors, some proponents of first-to-file systems are actually asking for a more expansive absolute novelty system.

Switching the US to an absolute novelty system would have three primary disruptive components: (1) ending interferences and other priority contests; (2) ending the ability for patentees to avoid putative prior art by proving an earlier invention date; and (3) ending the grace period for an inventor's own prior disclosures. These changes would impact the law as applied both in prosecution and litigation.

In this survey, I am hoping to get a sense of the relative importance of these changes. The survey should take only about five minutes to complete.

1. Rank the following changes to US patent law according to their level of disruptiveness to the current system. For advocates of a legislative change, the most disruptive changes may be positive. Others may see the changes as having a negative impact.

  1 (Most Disruptive) 2 3 4 5 6 (Least Disruptive)
Litigation: Eliminate Accused Infringers Right to Invalidate a Patent Based on Prior Invention Under 102(g)
Prosecution: Eliminate an Applicant's Right to Antedate (Swear Behind) Asserted Prior Art References
Prosecution: Eliminate the Grace Period for an Applicant's own Pre-Filing Disclosures
Prosecution: Eliminate Interferences at the PTO
Litigation: Eliminate a Patentee's Right to Avoid 102(a)/(e) Prior Art by Proving Prior Invention
Litigation: Eliminate the Grace Period for a Patentee's own Pre-Filing Disclosures

2. Would you support moving the US system to an absolute novelty system?

3. Would you support a switch that eliminates priority contests and the ability to swear behind, but retains a one-year grace period for an applicant's own disclosures?

4. Would you support a switch that eliminates priority contests but retains an applicant's ability to swear behind and also retains a one-year grace period for an applicant's own disclosures?

5. Your Qualifications

6. Your area of business or technology:

7. Your Position

8. OPTIONAL: Your Contact Info - Otherwise the question responses are anonymous.

Thank you!

T