Understanding the America Invents Act
The America Invents Act (AIA), signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2011, represents the largest change to intellectual property law in the last half-century. The AIA was created to bring U.S. patent law back up to world standards and make the entire patent process easier for inventors across the nation. Filing for patents will never be the same and its changes will continue to affect inventors for years to come. It is imperative that all present and future inventors thoroughly understand the American Invents Act and all its implications.
Key changes in The AIA
The act made numerous key changes to the application process but perhaps the biggest alteration is the change from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system. Prior to the AIA being signed into law, if two people were competing for a similar patent, the patent would be awarded to the first person to invent. This could be proven through evidence such as lab notebooks, designs, or schematics. Now U.S. patent law is working under a first-to-file system, where all patent disputes would be won by the first inventor to file the patent, decided by the recorded date of the application, which will be visible on the document. Other key changes to the Patent system include:
- Application fees made significantly cheaper
- Changed the acceptance of prior art
- Eliminated false marking lawsuits
- Filing by other than inventors
- Prior user rights defense
The America Invents Act is filled with drastic reforms to the entire U.S. Patent system. Many critics remain persistent to this day about whether the AIA protects or impedes innovation. Regardless, any inventor that wishes to acquire a patent in the future must understand the American Invents Act.
Contact a Plano Intellectual Property Attorney
If you or someone you know is considering filing for patent protection, Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C. is here to help. Our attorneys strive to help America continue to innovate so that we can retain our country’s competitive global advantage. We will assist you throughout the patent process and inform you of how the AIA will affect your application. Contact our office at (214) 317-4448 to learn more about how we can help you acquire patent protection.