From the White House Blog, it was announced that President Obama signed the America Invents Act into law earlier this morning. After passing through both houses last week, Obama signed the bill today at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology saying ideas create jobs.
The America Invents Act was passed with President Obama’s strong leadership after nearly a decade of effort to reform the Nation’s outdated patent laws. It will help companies and inventors avoid costly delays and unnecessary litigation, and let them focus instead on innovation and job creation. Many key industries in which the United States leads, such as biotechnology, medical devices, telecommunications, the Internet, and advanced manufacturing, depend on a strong and healthy intellectual property system.
In 18 months when the act takes effect, it will hopefully mean companies will spend more on innovators than patent lawsuits and that the ridiculously long way between filing for a patent and being awarded one will be greatly reduced. (This delay is why “Patent Pending” is seen so frequently.)
The newly-signed law has a number of important transformations that will build on reforms already underway under the leadership of the US Patent and Trademark Office’s dynamic Director David Kappos. The law will give the USPTO the resources to significantly reduce patent application waiting times, building on the great strides the patent office has already made, including reducing its backlog by 75,000 during this Administration even as the number of filings per year has increased.
The USPTO will now be in a position to implement an innovative program to speed up the processing of the patents that are likely to create good jobs right away. Under the prioritized examination process, the USPTO will offer start-ups and growing companies an opportunity to have important patents reviewed in one-third the time with a new fast-track option that has a guaranteed 12-month turnaround.
And as for some of those lawsuits?
Excessive litigation has long plagued the patent system. The America Invents Act will offer entrepreneurs new ways to avoid litigation regarding patent validity, without the expense of going to court, and will also give the USPTO new tools and resources to improve patent quality. The new law also will harmonize the American patent process with the rest of the world to make it more efficient and predictable, and make it easier for entrepreneurs to simultaneously market products in the United States and for exporting abroad.
And one small step towards encouraging more inventing and innovating:
We also know that government cannot do this alone. That’s why 140 university presidents have answered the Administration’s call to action to move research breakthroughs from the lab to the marketplace. We’re also announcing a new prize supported by the National Science Foundation and the Coulter Foundation to reward those universities that make the most progress on accelerating economic growth and job creation.
Have questions about the America Invents Act?
Today, US Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra will be answering your questions with USPTO Director David Kappos during an Open for Questions event onWhiteHouse.gov. Join us live at 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 16th. Here’s how it works and how you can participate: