Citation[edit | edit source]

Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) (Sept. 16, 2011).

Overview[edit | edit source]

This historic patent reform legislation designed to help American entrepreneurs and businesses bring their inventions to market sooner, creating new businesses and new jobs.

The Act has a number of important reforms. The law gives the USPTO the resources to reduce patent application waiting times significantly. The USPTO will now be in a position to implement an innovative program to speed up the processing of the patents.

Under the prioritized examination process, the USPTO will offer start-ups and growing companies an opportunity to have important patents reviewed in one-third the time with a new fast-track option that has a guaranteed 12-month turnaround.

The Act switches the U.S. patent system from a "first-to-invent" to a "first-to-file" system, eliminates interference proceedings, and develops post-grant opposition.

Several provisions of AIA may help address some of the problematic behavior of PAEs by creating new programs at the Patent and Trademark Office to create alternatives to litigation regarding patent validity, new methods for post-grant review of issued patents, and major steps to increase patent quality through clarifying and tightening standards.

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