Congress Passes Landmark Patent Reform Bill

September 8, 2011

Today, Congress passed the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249), a hard-fought piece of legislation which brings certainty back to the patent system. At Intellectual Ventures, we believe ideas are valuable, and a strong patent system is critical to protecting the ideas of this generation’s Edisons, Wrights and Salks. If implemented properly, the America Invents Act will help to foster an environment where invention and innovation can thrive.

“A strong patent system is necessary to support and promote innovation,” said David Kris, general counsel for Intellectual Ventures. “We commend the passage of the America Invents Act, which will improve patent quality, maintain inventors’ rights to protect their ideas and encourage further investment in invention.” 

Once signed into law, this legislation will create significant changes to the U.S. patent system, including implementing a first-to-file standard, and a special proceeding to challenge business method patents under Section 18. We believe Section 18 will make it easier for big banks and financial institutions to infringe on valid business method patents, and could set a dangerous precedent for the influence of Wall Street on the USPTO. While we’re disappointed Section 18 was not removed from the final bill, we trust that the USPTO will implement an appropriate interpretation of this section so that it does not extend beyond the financial patents it was designed to target.

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