Patent system changes discussed

This past Monday, Sept. 24, Tech hosted the America Invents Act (AIA) Roadshow where Peggy Focarino, the Commissioner of Patents, informed the local innovators, entrepreneurs and the general public on new patent reform enacted by President Obama last fall that came into effect on Sept. 16.

During the event, Focarino and her coworkers discussed final rules in patent and administrative patent trials, patent fees and patent proposal rules.

“There was a wide bipartisan recognition that the application process needed more efficiency,” said one of the spokespeople at the event. “After the economic recession, we wanted people to innovate faster in order to get new products into the market and ultimately create new jobs.”

Of the major reforms, the “first-inventor-to-file” rule is the one of the most noteworthy for aspiring inventors because specific deadlines, in a given grace period, must be met in order to establish a patent.

The new rule additionally redefines the prior method of determining patentability.

Because the “first-inventor-to-file” rule sets priority to the date of filing of the patent, interference proceedings were eliminated in the process.

In the past, creators of the same invention would challenge each other over a patent rights, and even if two people had invented a product almost simultaneously, long patent trials had to be conducted.

After eliminating these interference proceedings, patent trials will become more refined. As a result of this optimization, contested patent rights can be settled in quicker manner.

Of course, administrative patent trials or proceedings, like interference proceedings, are conducted to resolve any burdens to the patent system.

Due to the patent reforms, small and micro entity innovators gain fee reductions in filing, search and examination fees. The goal of this reform in specific is to foster innovation and provide affordability to lower income inventors and smaller companies and organizations.

Over the course of U.S. history, this type of legislation has not passed such a significant patent reform for more than fifty years, and with the recent implementation of this legislation, the government hopes to promote a healthier economy and promote further innovation.