After years of false starts followed by disappointment, the Congress has enacted and the President is expected to sign the Patent Reform Act of 2011 within the next several days. This complex piece of legislation will cause significant changes to the current system, including transitioning the U.S. patent system to a “first-to-file system,” determining what is considered “prior art” to an applicant’s application, instituting a new pre-grant procedure for third parties to submit material in another’s pending application file, and substantially revising post-grant challenging procedures. The act also includes provisions affecting business method patents and the availability of False Patent Marking qui tam actions except to those suffering a competitive injury.
Certain provisions of the act become effective as of enactment. These include elimination of best mode as an invalidity defense, the availability of “virtual marking,” qui tam reform, elimination of tax strategy patents and a prohibition against patenting "human organism" (sec. 33).
This program will help listeners understand both the immediate effects of the Patent Reform Act and how to develop a strategy for dealing with the new changes in patent law.