U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Making History: the First Design Patent from the University of New Hampshire!

On March 19, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued UNH’s first Design Patent for the Tablet Pedestal/AT Pad Stand, a device developed by Dr. Therese Willkomm. Dr. Willkomm is the Director of ATinNH, the New Hampshire state-wide assistive technology program with the Institute on Disability, and also an assistant professor in the occupational therapy department.  

The America Invents Act: Prior Art and First-to-File

Since the formulation of the patent system, with the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1787, the U.S. has focused on awarding a patent to the first inventor to invent. Recently in 2011, President Obama signed into law the America Invents Act (AIA) that changes the preexisting first-to-invent system into a first-inventor-to-file structure. This was an effort to harmonize the U.S. patent system with the European and other patent systems around the world that already use the first-to-file structure.

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