Questions Raised by Proposed USPTO Rules on Prior Art

The questions relate to publication by a third party that describes an invention, after initial publication by an inventor, but before that inventor has filed their patent application.  Under the proposed rules, the third party publication could be considered prior art.

The concern is that this would effectively eliminate the grace period, which admittedly does not exist elsewhere in the world, preventing researchers from publishing inventions before filing an application, even if they are only concerned with protecting US rights.

The proposed rules were published in the Federal Register on July 26 and are open for public comment and revision until October 5.

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