You've likely heard that the United States will become a first-to-file patent system on March 16, 2013. Simply put, invention priority will be awarded to the first filed patent application. This is only one of a number of major changes in the patent law. We recommend that you consider filing patent applications well before the law changes in March to avoid all the uncertainties associated with the new law.
In fact, why not make one of your new year's resolutions a review of your organization's inventions for possible patent application filing before March 1st? We expect a flurry of filing on or before March 16th, so the earlier you file the better.