Patent Reform

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The Senate passed their version of a Patent Reform Bill (Senate Bill No. S. 23), on March 8, 2011 by a wide 95-5 margin. The bill makes significant changes, most notably including a first-inventor-to-file system, and an enhanced post-grant review procedures that will be conducted within the USPTO. There are 26 sections to the Senate bill. Some key features of the Senate Bill include:

1. A first-inventor-to-file system and limitation of the one year grace period (Sec. 2);

2. A Post-grant review proceeding (Sec. 5);

3. New inter partes review proceeding (Sec. 5a);

4. Preissuance submission by third parties (Sec. 7);

5. USPTO fee-setting authority and USPTO funding (Secs. 9 and 10);

6. A supplemental examination proceeding (Sec. 11);

7. Elimination of the best mode defense (Sec. 15.);

8. A transitional post-grant review of covered business method patents(Sec. 18); and

9. A change to the False marking Statute (Sec. 2).

The House of Representatives introduced their own version of the Patent Reform Bill (House of Representatives Bill No. H.R. 1249) on March 30, 2011. The House bill is very similar to the Senate bill, but includes some notable differences. The first-inventor-to-file system and limitation of the one year grace period is the same in the passed Senate bill and recently introduced House bill. Regarding the post-grant review and inter partes review proceedings, however, the House bill changes some of the standards of review and time limits in the Senate bill.

Below is a summary of some of the key features of the Senate bill, followed by a short analysis describing some important differences in the House bill.

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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