America Invents: A Simple Guide to Patent Reform, Part 1

Written by Gene Quinn, of IPWatchdog and Practice Center Contributor.

[Yesterday] I spoke at the Practising Law Institute program on the America Invents Act. We had a good turnout in the room and an excellent turnout via webcast. The program was 4 hours long, and truthfully we could have gone on for at least several more hours without running out of material. For those who stayed online we ran long by about 20 minutes, and stayed talking with attendees and answering questions of live attendees for another 20 minutes. We are already talking about reprising the presentation for an audience at PLI’s New York City location on Seventh Avenue, so stay tuned.

There will be plenty of time to drill down on the particulars of the America Invents Act. The Act is dense, language choices from section to section in some places change and in other places remains the same, making you suspect that different terms must mean different things but the same term in different places has to mean the same thing, right? Our moderator, Denise Kettelberger (Faegre & Benson) said that patent attorneys should really read the Act about 10 times, which is really good advice.  Every time you read it you notice something a little different, and during the presentation of others today I found myself taking notes and looking up things in the Act with new understandings.  This is a major re-write of patent laws and not one that is at all simple.

Click here for the full IPWatchdog.


America Invents: How the New Law Impacts Your Patent Practice

Written by Gene Quinn, of IPWatchdog and Practice Center Contributor.

The Practising Law Institute will host a one-day program titled America Invents Act: How the New Law Impacts Your Clients and Your Patent Practice. This event will be on Monday, September 26, 2011, and will take place live at PLI’s San Francisco Center in downtown San Francisco, California. The program will be webcast live over the Internet for all those who are unable to make it to the live location.

PLI has assembled a team of experienced patent practitioners who have closely followed the patent reform debate, and I am honored to be among those who will speak at this event. The faculty will discuss the realities of the new legislation and how the new law will immediately impact the patenting process for businesses and attorneys. If the e-mails we have exchanged furiously over the last several weeks in preparation are any indication this program will present a thorough and comprehensive review of the major aspects of the legislation. The plan is to dig deep and give the patent practitioner actionable information, recommendations and things to look out for. Legislative language will be examined carefully, as well as likely interpretations and problem areas that will almost certainly remain uncertain until the Federal Circuit and perhaps the Supreme Court weighs in.

Click here for the full IPWatchdog article and for more details about PLI’s upcoming program America Invents Act: How the New Law Impacts Your Clients and Your Patent Practice.

Senate Passes House Patent Reform Bill (H.R. 1249)-President Now Expected to Sign!

The United States Senate passed the America Invents Act on September 8, 2011 by a vote of 89-9.  The bill will now be forwarded on to the White House for President Obama’s signature, upon which the law is officially enacted. Our friends at Foley & Lardner sent in this article highlighting key changes to the U.S. patent system that will be brought about by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.

On September 8, 2011, by a vote of 89-9, the Senate approved the House version of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (H.R. 1249), leaving only President Obama’s signature as the final step to make patent reform a reality (he has already stated he is ready to sign this bill). Prior to the final vote, the Senate voted to reject or table all amendments, avoiding the need to send the bill back to the House for consideration. This vote means that the final text of the new law is that found in H.R. 1249 as passed by the House on June 23, 2011. Further information on the Act can be found at

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act makes the most sweeping changes to U.S. patent law in many decades, including moving the U.S. towards a first-to-file system, expanding prior user rights as a defense to infringement, eliminating interference proceedings, and creating new USPTO proceedings for post-grant review. While many provisions of the law will not take effect for at least one year after the date of enactment, several key provisions have an immediate effect, and many provisions will have a retroactive effect after their phase-in. (See Foley’s PharmaPatentsBlog for a more detailed review of different effective dates). (more…)