Do “poor man’s patents” really protect your ideas? (i.e. sending them in the mail to yourself and getting them notarized)

Konstantinos and Tom do a great job at explaining the “March 16, 2013” distinction so I will only touch on the ramifications of the new law. The America Invents Act effectively rid lazy inventors of relief in the instance an imitator filed first. The Act also eliminated those ambitious inventors who took their time to learn patent law as they filled out an application on their own, knowing they had the “first to invent” card in their back pocket. But, inventors do not have time to learn how to submit a patent application any longer. The Act places greater importance on inventors to file as quickly as possible. Filing fast is a double-edged sword though. On one hand you can establish priority over a competitor, but on the other hand the urgency can cause you to submit a shoddy application. A shoddy application can cause you to lose your priority over a competitor who submits a complete application. As a result, the Act encourages inventors to hire a patent attorney in order to quickly file a valid application.

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