“President Barack Obama signed into law a patent overhaul bill Friday that backers say will curb frivolous lawsuits and help the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office do the hiring needed to clear a huge backlog of applications,” Diane Bartz reports for Reuters. “‘It’s a bill that will put a dent in the huge stack of patent applications waiting for review. It will help startups and small business owners turn their ideas into products three times faster than they can today,’ Obama said at a signing ceremony carried on television.”
“In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Democrat-controlled Senate voted on Sept. 8 to approve a version of the legislation that had come from the Republican-held House of Representatives. Similar to a measure sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, the measure won praise from Republicans such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Representative Darrell Issa, himself a patent holder,” Bartz reports. “The patent overhaul began at the urging of the tech industry, which makes devices containing hundreds of patented technologies and has faced growing numbers of patent infringement lawsuits.”
Bartz reports, “The measure would also grant patents to the first inventors to file, rather than requiring inventors to show they were the first to develop an innovation. The change will make it easier for companies who file for patents in numerous countries… The law will also allow anyone — including a company’s rivals — to scrutinize newly granted patents and give the patent office evidence to show why it should not be allowed.”
Read more in the full article here.
U.S. government passes patent reform; critics deem it sellout to big business – September 9, 2011
House approves U.S. patent system overhaul bill – June 24, 2011
U.S. House of Representatives unveils fundamental patent overhaul – March 30, 2011