President Obama Signs Patent Reform Bill

September 19th, 2011

On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed H.R. 1249, the “Leahy-Smith America Invents Act” (AIA). The AIA was passed by the U.S. Senate on September 8, 2011, without any further amendments to the House version of the law. This “patent reform” bill will put into effect several profound changes in U.S. patent laws during the next year. The changes will occur both in the front-end stage of filing and prosecuting patents, as well as the post-grant stage after patents have been issued and are in the enforcement / licensing / litigation stage. Foremost is a conceptual change of the U.S. patent system from a “first-to-invent” system of priority to a “first-inventor-to-file” priority. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has already begun making new rules and procedures in anticipation the bill’s implementation. MMM senior IP partner John R. Harris led a webinar on the new bill on September 14, 2011, and reviewed the major changes in the U.S. patent system that are expected to result when the various provisions of the bill go into effect, and some of the implications to businesses.

A replay of the webinar and accompanying materials are available at the links below:

Replay URL

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