Obama signs patent overhaul law

The Daily Record Newswire

President Barack Obama signed the America Invents Act into law last week, a measure he said will benefit businesses by allowing inventions to get to market sooner and cut down on red tape and patent-related litigation.

The most significant overhaul to the patent system since 1952, the measure creates a "first to file" patent issuing system, granting patent rights for an innovation to the first party to apply for them instead of to the first inventor.

It also authorizes the Patent and Trademark Office to offer some companies a fast-track 12-month process instead of the normal three-year period.

The measure will reduce the existing backlog of nearly 700,000 patent applications and will significantly reduce wait times, Obama said in during a signing ceremony in Alexandria, Va.

The measure is also designed to reduce costly litigation.

The PTO will have broader authority to hear administrative challenges regarding patent validity, at costs significantly less expensive than going to court.

"This much-needed reform will speed up the patent process so that innovators and entrepreneurs can turn a new invention into a business as quickly as possible," Obama said.

Published: Thu, Sep 29, 2011

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