Originally published in Orange County Business Jouranl - July 9-15, 2012.
What will be the impact of the Patent Reform Act on your business? In short, Congress crafted the Patent Reform Act to reward vigilant businesses who actively seek to protect their inventions and who track patent filings of competitors. Why did Congress do this? Congress wanted these vigilant businesses to keep intellectual property battles in the Patent Office and out of the courtroom. Such a shift will reduce legal costs associated with patent protection and litigation, to hopefully stimulate job creation and the rest of the economy.
The Patent Reform Act, also known as the America Invents Act (“AIA”), was signed into law on September 16, 2011, and constitutes the most sweeping change to patent law since 1836. The AIA provisions come into effect over a four-year period – many provisions have already come into effect, and more critical provisions will come into effect within the next nine months. So what are the new provisions and why do businesses need to be vigilant? The following describes some of the key provisions that put the onus on businesses to act...
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