How the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act Sought to Harmonize United States Patent Priority with the World, A Comparison with the European Patent Convention


This Note examines the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to determine if Congress in fact achieved its goal of harmonizing the United States patent priority system with the rest of the world, when compared to the European Patent Convention. In doing so, it argues that while the United States did intend to better harmonize the geographic scope of prior art references, it failed to clarify the implications of changing the grace period for inventors to commercially exploit their inventions prior to filing. It also added language regarding prior art references that is wholly absent from the European Patent Convention.


Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, patent, invention, grace period, patent priority, European Patent Convention



Mark Schafer (Washington University in St. Louis, School of Law)



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