United States of America: Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

September 16, 2011

United States of America: The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act was recently passed by the US Congress and on September 16, 2011, signed by the President of the United States into law. The various provisions contained in the 37 sections of the Act enter into force at various dates.

The Act includes major changes to the Patent Law, Title 35 United States Code. The most significant change is the conversion of America's "first to invent" patent priority system to a "first to file" which is aimed at simplifying the patent process and harmonizing the US Patent System with other countries. The new Act also improves patent quality, reduces patent litigation costs and introduces new opportunities for challenging patents and patent applications before the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO).