Yesterday evening, after several years of failed legislative proposals to reform the Patent Act, the first major overhaul of the patent laws since 1952 took place.Â The Senate passed H.R. 1249 (89-9), also known as the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.Â President Obama is expected to sign the bill shortly.Â Below are some of the provisions of the reform.
- Moves the US from a first-to-invent priority rule system to a first-to-file priority system.
- Eliminates best mode as a basis for invalidity, cancellation, or unenforceability.
- Limits who can file false marking claims to the US government and those who have suffered a competitive injury as a result of false marking.
- Gives the PTO the authority to adjust fees.
- Creates a new post-grant review system.
- Ensures that the alleged infringer's failure to obtain the advice of counsel cannot be used as evidence of willful infringement.
On a related note, the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Technology at the University of Akron School of Law is hosting the 5th Annual IP Scholars Forum on Oct. 28th which will have IP scholars from across the country and across the world discussing patent reform.