The U.S. is on the verge of the largest shift the patent system has seen in decades as President Barack Obama prepares to sign a bill that will transform the process from a first-to-invent system to a first-to-file system.
The "America Invents Act," six years in the making, passed the Senate last week in a sweeping 89 to 9 vote accepting the bill, having won House approval in a similarly large landslide in March.
In a podcast with patent attorney David Dykeman, he explained the spirit of the new law and its four main components:
- A shift to a first-to-file patent process which favors the first submitted patent application regardless of when an idea was conceived.
- A nine-month post-patent review period when challengers can object to a patent’s filing without having to resort to a lawsuit in federal court.
- Allowing third parties to more efficiently submit documents challenging a new application’s validity, creating a sort of “peer-review” process for patents.
- Allowing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to keep more of its excess fee revenue for internal use and establish satellite offices, the first of which will be housed in Detroit.
Or pick from other segments of the interview:
- Main page: Patent attorney David Dykeman breaks down the America Invents Act
- Background on the America Invents Act
- Winners and losers under patent reform
- Pitfalls and windfalls under patent reform
- “File early, file often”
- The post-grant challenge period
- Patent trolls and infringement lawsuits under patent reform
- The Supreme Court’s hand in shaping patent law
- In-house initiatives at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
- Meet David Dykeman