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.
The first-to-file system poses new challenges for small companies and start-ups without the financial and human resources to win a race to the patent office.
Switching to a first-to-file system may mean that companies without deep pockets will have to take a more defensive approach, filing patents earlier than they would like to ensure that they aren’t beaten to the punch.
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