The new law defining prior art would become effective 18–months from the date of enactment of H.R. 1249. Patent applications filed after that date would be bound by the new first-to-file rules. The major exception is that old invention-date rules will also apply to any application having a claim having a proper priority filing date of prior to the change-over.
That date will likely be a filing bonanza, much like the what occurred in the lead-up to the June 8, 1995 change in patent term as shown in the chart below.
Applicants who beat the 1995 deadline were granted given either a patent term of 17 years from issuance or else 20 years from filing, whichever was longer as calculated at issuance. In that scenario, there were very good reasons to file before the deadline.
When the new deadline comes, I suspect that the current regime will look more favorable than the new because of the new limits on swearing-behind prior art based upon a prior invention date and claiming a grace period for third-party disclosures. One reason an applicant might delay is because of the new “micro-entity” status that offers lower fees, but even then the best course of action would be to file a provisional application early followed by non-provisional at the lower fee.
Are there reasons why a patent applicant would choose to delay filing an application until after the new deadline?