With the change from first-to-invent to first-to-file, interference proceedings have been eliminated, and replaced with derivation proceedings.
The distinction may appear subtle at first, but it reflects an important philosophical shift. The new proceeding continues to protect inventors, preventing anyone else from filing a pre-emptive patent application using information derived from the inventor’s own work.
On the other hand, an inventor who has developed information independently would no longer be required to demonstrate that that they were the first to invent in order to final a patent application, as long as the work of another inventor was not available as prior art.
The publication of the final rule was made in the Federal Register this week.