Sept. 16, 2011


U.S. Enacts Sweeping Patent Reforms Recommended by Research Council Report

President Obama has signed into law the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which introduces some of the most significant reforms to the U.S. patent system in decades. The law enacts key recommendations of a 2004 National Research Council report, A Patent System for the 21st Century. Provisions in the new law that were recommended in the report include providing an "open review" procedure for third parties to challenge recently issued patents before U.S. Patent and Trademark Office administrative judges and converting to a first-inventor-to-file priority system to reduce disputes over who invented first and bring the U.S. patent system into conformity with patent systems of other nations. Several other recommendations in the 2004 report have already been addressed in administrative actions and federal court decisions intended to raise patent quality, reduce litigation costs, and improve USPTO efficiency.