To bring the United States patent system in line with those of the rest of the world, the America Invents Acts deletes 35 U.S.C. § 104, which currently states that “an applicant for a patent, or a patentee, may not establish a date of invention by reference to knowledge or use thereof, or other activity with respect thereto, in a foreign country other than a NAFTA country or a WTO member country.” Deletion of this section of the statute would no longer limit invention dates to countries with which the United States has a patent treaty.
By thus expanding the list of eligible countries to which inventors can refer in establishing a date of invention, even more pressure is placed upon the inventor to be the first to file a patent application. A date of invention worldwide in scope provides an even greater advantage to the first inventor to file an application by expanding the scope of eligible prior art references. Under such a regime, those with the resources to file quickly and cheaply will have a greater competitive advantage.