Patent Reform Action 2010
Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 by Jim Ruttler
The Senate has introduced a bill entitled Patent Reform Act of 2010. This bill includes a provision for a switch to a first inventor to file system, which would be a departure from the current first to invent system. This would mean that a patent would be awarded to the first inventor to file a patent application regardless of which of those inventors was the first to think of the idea. The bill would also establish a new system for post-grant review of issued patents that would be handled by the patent appeals board and would allow third parties to submit prior art directly to the examiner for consideration. Both of these provisions would theoretically help protect against the existence of frivolous patents. With regards to fees, this bill would allow the Patent Office to have more control over setting its fees and would create a new micro-entity for those with five or fewer applications. These micro entities would be entitled to a further reduction in fees. More details on this bill can be found at: http://judiciary.senate.gov/legislation/upload/PatentReformAmendment.pdf.