America Invents Act: Will Increased Speed Benefit Patent Law?

by novel_admin on August 21, 2012

Last year the government signed the “America Invents Act” into law. This law changes many things for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but perhaps one of the most important changes was allowing the USPTO the ability to allocate their own budget. Just this change alone has given them the ability to better plan, resulting in a dramatic reduction of  the patent backlog (down to 640,000 from 700,000).

It will certainly be fascinating to see how business in the U.S. and abroad respond to turn-around times of 3 months instead of 3 years to have a patent granted!  Some large corporations fear that the speed will actually reduce the value of the patent. Most licensing activity occurs in the last 50 percent of a patent’s lifecycle and the value continues to escalate as it moves towards the final years of protection and so it become highly beneficial to have the protection period pushed as far into the future as possible.

As a result, this could mean that tech companies and other fast moving industries would end up filing more patents than they are now. Start ups looking to prove themselves to investors could end up filing to add value to their company. And of course, there will be people taking advantage the speed to file and get approved as it becomes less arduous.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this law changes the landscape of IP law.




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