Think it’s time to change our patent system ? It is the Congress. Yesterday, the Senate approved the Act on America invented by a 89-8 vote that could make more drastic changes in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in five decades. Under the plan, the House approved in June, patents are not awarded to the first person to invent a technology, but the first to actually file with the USPTO, bringing U.S. policy in line with the protocol adopted in most other countries. It also calls for a simplified application process and would allow the USPTO to charge fees set for all applications. Revenues generated by these fees would go directly to a maximum reserve fund, which keeps the office of the lion’s share of the money instead to channel a large part in the Congress, as was the norm.
Proponents say the extra revenue will give the USPTO more power to nibble the delay of about 700,000 patent applications, while a new system will help eliminate third challenge patents that would never have approved of the first place. Opponents, meanwhile, criticized the bill for not eliminate diversion at all costs (an amendment that would have placed tighter restrictions was finally killed, for fear it would jeopardize the passage of the proposed law), with Washington Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell questioning the impact of legislation on small business, calling it a great gift company patents that tramples on the rights of small inventors. But Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat Vermont, which sponsored the project, argued that approval yesterday marks a major turning point in history and U.S. Patent Policy:
Creativity that drives our economic engine has made America the world leader in invention and innovation. America invented legislation will ensure that inventors, large and small to maintain the competitive advantage that has put America at the height of global innovation. This is landmark legislation. It is good policy.
America invented law will now make its way to the office of President Obama, which is expected to receive his signature. For more information on legislation, see the links below.