The America Invents Act Has Been Signed Into Law

I have written posts both on spurring innovation and the controversy over patents, two topics directly related to the recently singed into law America Invents Act.  The new law will shift the United States from granting patents to on the basis of whom was the first-to-invent to those who were the first-to-file. The reform also seeks simplify the process of granting patents, while intending to also increase development of new technologies that could benefit the economy. The move to the first-to-file system will align the U.S. with the method in use by the majority of other developed countries; however, it will be nearly 18 months before the law takes effect.

There is a great deal of speculation in the blogosphere and the media if the overhaul will have any significant impact, and I encourage those interested in the subject to search for the related stories.  Possible impacts I have come across inclue the creation of 12 million new jobs; however, it will be nearly two years before any actual effect the new law can be felt. In the short term the law only guarantees funding for the Patent Office.

On the subject, two related readings on patents and invention I have found interesting are professor Mark Lemley’s “The Myth of the Sole Inventor,” and the critique of his article by John Howells and Ron D. Katznelson.

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