Major elements of the patent overhaul legislation

AP News
Posted: Sep 08, 2011 4:28 PM
Major elements of the patent overhaul legislation

Major elements of the patent system overhaul legislation:

_Switches the basic standard of patent approval from a "first-to-invent" to "first-inventor-to file."

_Gives the Patent and Trade Office more authority to set fees and keep the fees it collects so that it has enough money to reduce the backlog in processing patent applications.

_Seeks to improve patent quality by allowing third parties a chance to submit information on pending applications and establishing a review process to challenge faulty patents.

_Provides more certainty to patent owners by reducing administrative challenges.

_Encourages manufacturing by expanding prior user rights for manufacturers using a process before a patent is granted.

_Creates a way to weed out invalid but existing patents on methods of conducting business.

_Creates a supplemental examination system where applicants, particularly small inventors and startups that may lack filing expertise, can return to the patent office with additional material to clarify issues with their applications.