Vedder Price

Vedder Thinking | Events Thomas J. Kowalski Participates in USPTO Roundtable on the America Invents Act



September 13, 2012

Thomas J. Kowalski, a Shareholder in the New York office of Vedder Price and a member of the firm's Intellectual Property group, participated in a public information event hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on September 6, 2012. The roundtable, which addressed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) and the upcoming shift to a first-inventor-to-file system, was a part of ongoing USPTO outreach efforts to gather public feedback on its implementation of the AIA. Participants included USPTO Director David Kappos and Mary Till, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration.

During the roundtable, Mr. Kowalski provided testimony regarding the USPTO's statutory obligations to ascertain both the claimed invention as a whole and the effective filing date for each claim presented. He voiced concern that proposals involving "additional requirements" on applicants whose patent applications are filed on or after March 16, 2013, but claim a lineage to an application earlier than March 16, 2013, may raise issues. Hosted at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandra, VA, the roundtable was open to the public and available via webcast. Viewer comments included that Mr. Kowalski's statute-based positions are "refreshing" and "unequivocal."

Additional information on the proposed rules and examination guidelines to implement the first-inventor-to-file provision can be found here.


Thomas J. Kowalski