U.S. Senate Sends Patent Reform Legislation to President Obama
On September 8, 2011, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 1249, the “Leahy-Smith America Invents Act,” by a bi-partisan vote of 89-9. Because the Senate passed the bill in the same form passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June, without amendment, the bill will now be sent to President Obama. Significantly, the bill transitions the U.S. from a first-to-invent to a first-inventor-to-file system and establishes expanded post-grant review procedures. Further, the legislation increases the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s ability to set the fees it collects from applicants. Provisions related to best mode, false marking, challenging business method patents, the prior use defense and staying civil litigation in limited circumstances are also included in the bill.
Disclosure: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP represents the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform and the Innovation Alliance, both of which have been actively involved in the patent reform debate.
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