IP Update - Patent Law Reform - April 06, 2011


Finnegan attorneys closely track patent law reform efforts, most recently the Patent Reform Act of 2011, which was passed by the U.S. Senate on March 8, 2011, with the updated title “America Invents Act.” Through IP Updates, webinars, conferences, articles, and this resource page, Finnegan provides information on important legislative developments, public statements and testimony, and commentary from Finnegan attorneys on the impact of legislative and regulatory changes on U.S. and international businesses.

The Patent Reform Act of 2011 was introduced on January 25, 2011, by Senator Patrick Leahy. It addresses significant changes to the patent system, including first-to-file; post-grant review proceedings (oppositions); inter partes review; preissuance submission by third parties; USPTO fee-setting authority and USPTO funding; supplemental examination; micro entity fees; tax strategy patents; best mode; residency for Federal Circuit judges; creation of special post-grant review for business method patents; USPTO authority to establish satellite offices; creation of a USPTO ombudsman; and USPTO authority to prioritize inventions of national importance. The Senate Judiciary Committee amended the bill and unanimously approved it on February 3, 2011. After lively debate and a variety of amendments proposed, the Senate passed the legislation on March 8, 2011, by a wide 95-5 margin.

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