Patents Post-Grant: Lawsuit Filed to Block First Inventor to File System

Patents Post-Grant: Lawsuit Filed to Block First Inventor to File System

Inventor Alleges AIA Unconstitutional

Back during the drafting of the America Invents Act (AIA), some questioned whether the switch to a "first-inventor-to-file" system was constitutional. The argument was that the Intellectual Property Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I. Sec. 8) guaranteed the exclusive rights of inventions to "inventors," and that this term could not embrace another, later in time filer, in the interests of administrative expediency. That is to say, the AIA was criticized as providing a "first-person-to-file" system, which awards the label "inventor" to the first person in the door at the USPTO.

Last month, a small Florida business, MadStad Engineering, filed suit against the U.S. government & USPTO to block implementation of the first-inventor to file system based on the above theory of uncostitutionality. The declaratory judgment action seeks a permanent injunction against implementation of the AIA, and an opinion that the entirety of the AIA is unconstitutional (based on a lack of severability clause).

A copy of the compliant is found (here)

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