America Invents Act

Obama signs patent reform Act

Today, September 16, 2011, President Obama signed H.R. 1249, the "Leahy-Smith America Invents Act" passed by the Senate, 89-9, the week before.

As summarized and analyzed in today´s Patent and Trademark column, the Act presents the most comprehensive overhaul of the Patent Statute (35 U.S.C.) since it was enacted in 1952, including changing our system of awarding patents from those who invent first to those who file their application first, expanding significantly post-grant procedures for interested parties to object and challenge the issuance of patents, giving the Patent and Trademark Office greater control over how the money it generates is spent, creating satellite patent offices outside Washington, D.C., and providing for "micro-entities" which will qualify for significant discounts.

The White House statement, explained:

"By transitioning to a simpler, more objective, and more inventor-friendly system of issuing patents, the new Act helps ensure that independent inventors and small entities have greater clarity and certainty over their property rights and will be able to navigate the patent system on a more equitable footing with large enterprises. The Act also establishes a new in-house review process for challenging patents—a process that is faster and significantly cheaper than litigation, which too often stymies technological growth. By resolving disputes about patent rights earlier, more efficiently, and at lower cost, we can add greater certainty to - and cultivate greater confidence it - the American patent system."

(Published by Law.com - September 16, 2011)

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Read more - Top Stories

9/12/11 - Senate approves legislation reforming US patent system - click here.

6/27/11 - US House approves patent reform bill - click here.

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