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Patent Reform Bill Passes House

The America Invents Act recently passed the US House of Representatives by a vote of 304-117.  A similar bill was approved 95-5 in the Senate in March.  President Obama has pledged that he would sign a patent reform bill once it reaches his desk.  Therefore, it appears that it is only a matter of time before it is sent to the President to be signed into law.

The Act would change the U.S. from a "first to invent" to a "first to file" system. This system of giving the patent to the first applicant, rather than the first inventor is the standard in most of the world.  The major advantage of the "first to file" system is that it prevents inventors from coming out of the woodwork and laying claim to a patent filed by someone else.  However, the current "first to invent" system has the advantage of allowing inventors to disclose their inventions to potential investors without fearing the consequences their idea being stolen.

The Act also contains provisions that allow the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to set and potentially keep its own fees. Currently, Congress sets and collects the fees, and allocates a set amount of funding to the office.

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents, Trademarks

Photo of Zachary W. Behler

As a licensed patent attorney,  handles matters such as patent prosecution, patent infringement litigation, patent portfolio administration, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights protection.

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