A recent article in MSN’s Business on Main discusses what kind of impact the new patent bill will have. In September president Obama signed the America Invents Act into place which aims to modernize the patent process. Currently the patent system is backlogged for years and the standards are not up to speed with many foreign countries. This is the first change to the process since 1952.
While an update to the process was needed it may also hurt small businesses. Many of the changes seem to help large corporations more than they do small businesses. For example the new “first-to-file” rule replaces “first-to-invent”. This will make the process much more efficient by eliminating disputes over who was first but a major advantage goes to large corporations who have the resources to file quickly.
The application process needs to speed up but it’s unfortunate it may come at an expense to small businesses and inventors.
What is changing:
– First-to-file: There is no need for entrepreneurs who are preparing patent applications to panic. Different provisions of the new regulations take effect at different times. The first-to-file provision will take effect 18 months from legislative enactment.
– Post-grant review: The post-grant review is perhaps the more meaningful legislative change. This provision, which will take effect one year after enactment of the act, allows a third party to petition to cancel a patent claim within nine months after the issuance of the patent or broadening reissue patent. Under post-grant review, the patent can also be challenged on a number of grounds, which can create some uncertainty for new patent holders.
– Supplemental examination: Supplemental examination will allow a patent owner to request that the Patent Office reconsider or correct information relevant to the patent. This initiative can potentially help entrepreneurs increase the value, scope or licensing potential of their intellectual property.
– New fee structure
– Speed filings
– The party is over
– Patent aggregators
To view more details on these changes visit the full article on MSN’s Business on Main.
How do you think these changes will impact small businesses?
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