Subject: Legal, Ethical and Social Environment
Question :- The year is 2012 and the light bulb has not yet been invented. Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla are in a bitter feud to see who can bring electricity to the masses first. In this alternative history, it is indisputable that Tesla invented the lightbulb first. However, Edison filed his lightbulb patent prior to Tesla. According to the law in 2012, who holds the patent to the lightbulb?
Prior to 2011, the United State used the first to invent (FTI) rule to issue patent. This simply means that the person that first conceived an idea and reduce it to practice is entitle to the patent even if someone else first filed for the patent before he/she did. In the first to invent system, Nicholas Tesla will be the rightful beneficiary of the patent. However, in 2011, congress passed the American Invent Act (AIA) which switched the patent system from first to invent to first to file which aligns the United States patent system to the system that most countries around the world have been using. In the first to file system (law in 2012), Thomas Edison is the rightful beneficiary.
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