PTO Director Updates Senate Judiciary Committee on Implementation of the America Invents Act

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David Kappos, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Judiciary on June 20, 2012, to provide the Committee with an update on the implementation of the Leahy-Smith American Invents Act (AIA) signed into law on September 16, 2011. A copy of Director Kappos’ prepared statement that accompanied his testimony is available here (see alert below). The opening statement of Senator Leahy, the Chairman of the Committee and co-sponsor of the AIA, is available here (see alert below).

The following statements from Kappos’ testimony highlight the issues and concerns about the AIA:

• The new prioritization examination program (Track One) appears to be a success to date. Track One allows patent applications to be completed within 12 months and offers a significant cost discount to small businesses. Since its inception, the PTO has received more than 4,000 Track One patent applications, of which 2,300 have received a first office action within approximately 90 days. Of these, more than 500 applications have received a notice of allowance. At least 1/3 of the Track One applications are from small entities or inventors....

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