President Obama Signs Patent Reform Into Law

September 16th, 2011
By: Evan Rothman, Stephens Friedland LLP

Today President Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act into law.  This bill was the latest version of the patent reform bill that was originally passed by the House of Representatives in 2005.  The major change in patent law resulting from the passage of this bill is the transition of the United States Patent and Trademark Office from a “first-to-invent” to a “first-to-file” system.  This change will have a significant impact in limiting the large number of cases that are filed each year to determine who was the first to “invent” a patentable item. This shift in the USPTO brings the US in line with most other countries who have long abided by the “first-to-file” system of awarding patents.  The new law was supported by technology giants such as Google, Microsoft and Apple

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