The America Invents Act — Key components of the patent reform law
Abstract: When President Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) last fall, it marked the culmination of a years-long reform process. This article discusses several key components of the law that will significantly affect the patent prosecution and review processes. Specifically, it shows how the AIA shifts the U.S. patent system from a first-to-invent priority scheme to a first-inventor-to-file scheme and implements entirely new procedures for challenges to the validity of an issued patent. A sidebar explains why patent ownership could get more expensive.