The America Invents Act (AIA)— commonly referred to as the “patent reform bill”— was signed into law last month and business owners are still wondering what, if anything, it means to them. Given that patent reform has been discussed in some form for the last 6-10 years, there are several aspects of this Act that are misunderstood or exaggerated.
First, it is important to know that AIA will be implemented over the next 18 months with some provisions taking effect immediately and others in 2012 or 2013. The “first to file” provision, for example, does not take effect until March 2013. Therefore, it is important to review any questions or concerns about whether aspects of the AIA apply to your business, patents or patent applications before considering amending your company’s best practices or implementing new policies.
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