House debate on HR 1249 takes a slight detour

The long-awaited House floor debate on the America Invents Act (HR 1249) had to await a sub-debate, it appears.  Is the change from first-to- invent to first-inventor-to-file constitutional?

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

Stricter constructionists in the House are saying changing to a first-inventor-to-file system denies Constitutional rights from an inventor who does not file or files late. Those who see no problem with the Bill’s constitutionality point to the explicit language that only an “inventor” can file.