MBHB snippets Alert - October 4, 2011: Patent Reform: What Has Already Changed?

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (“AIA”) was signed into law by President Obama on September 16, 2011. The first significant overhaul of the U.S. patent system in nearly 60 years, this new patent reform measure ushers in considerable changes in how companies and individuals may obtain and enforce patents in the United States. This is the second in a series of articles on the AIA. The first article, which discussed the fee surcharge implemented on September 26, 2011, can be accessed here (see alert below for link). This article describes the other changes that have already been implemented. Future articles will address changes that will take effect in the coming months and years.

The default effective date of the AIA is one year after enactment, i.e., September 16, 2012, but a number of the provisions took effect upon enactment, or shortly thereafter, by virtue of specifically designated effective dates for those sections. The recently implemented provisions impact both pre- and post-grant procedures, and include...

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