japonicus - 12:34 pm on Mar 30, 2013 (gmt 0)
If so, might "open source" be pretty much a thing of the past, at least in the US?
I don't see why. The change just brings the US into line with what the rest of the world has always done.
If anything first-to-file might strengthen open source against patent attacks, because it makes patenting after-the-fact harder. I.e. if some open source software is published that uses a novel idea, under the old rules it was somewhat vulnerable to a corp later seeking a patent on the idea based on evidence that they secretly invented the concept first. As I understand it that would no-longer be possible (unless a provisional patent had already been filed before the software came out).
Back on topic... I welcome this move by google, it's a whole lot better than microsoft's past tactics of menacing open source software that competes with them (either directly or by funding proxy shills).