Senate passes America Invents Act

PTI Washington | Updated on March 09, 2011

The United States Senate has voted overwhelmingly to approve a legislation to make the first reforms to its patent system in nearly six decades.

The America Invents Act is aimed at improving patent quality and help reduce patent application backlogs. It will transition the US patent system to a first-inventor-to-file system and ensure that the USPTO has the funds necessary to process the backlog of more than 700,000 pending patent applications.

Noting that creating new jobs and new opportunities in a fiercely competitive world demands policies that encourage and support American innovation and ingenuity, the US President, Mr Barack Obama, welcomed its passage by the Senate.

The Bill now goes to the US House of Representatives.

“This long-overdue reform is vital to our ongoing efforts to modernise America’s patent laws and reduce the backlog of 700,000 patent applications — which won’t just increase transparency and certainty for inventors, entrepreneurs and businesses, but help grow our economy and create good jobs,” Mr Obama said.

The legislation incorporates the core provisions included in the original Patent Reform Act, first introduced in the House of Representatives in 2005 by Congressmen Mr Lamar Smith of Texas and Mr Howard Berman of California.

“The America Invents Act will promote American innovation, create American jobs and grow America’s economy, all without adding to the deficit,” said Senator Patrick Leahy.

“It is a jobs bill that won’t spend a penny of taxpayer dollars. It is common sense legislation that will help preserve America’s position as the global leader in invention and innovation.

“I hope that the House will look favourably on our work and adopt this measure so that it can be sent it to the President without delay and its improvements can take effect in order to encourage American innovation and promote American invention,” he said.

“An effective, efficient patent system can help create jobs and prosperity for starts-ups on Main Street and businesses across the country,” said Senator Chuck Grassley.

“The bipartisan legislation that the Senate just passed to bring the US patent system into the 21st Century helps keep America’s researchers, entrepreneurs, engineers and inventors in the driver’s seat in our global economy,” Mr Leahy said.

The legislation will provide entrepreneurs and businesses the tools they need to continue to focus on innovation. “It’s time to modernise our patent system, cut red tape, and make it easier for our businesses to compete in the global economy,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar.

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Published on March 09, 2011
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