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Americans Invent Act Faces Disagreement

post Thursday January 10, 2013


The Leahy-Smith Americans Invent Act (AIA), signed into law on September 16th, 2011  has been the subject of recent discussion in Washington D.C. as recently as last October. In October, the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) held their annual meeting regarding the state of IP law in the United States. At this meeting, attention centered on the AIA and potential implications from this law that dramatically changes the patent process in the United States.

The general consensus of members of the AIPLA was the AIA would be overall a detriment to US patents and inventions. This point of view was based predominantly on the fact that this shift marks a movement to aligning more closely with European style patent systems. Additionally, Paul Michel, former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit believes that the AIA will decrease the value of patents. Judge Michel said, “The proliferation of post-grant procedures is going to slow things down and increase costs, so the value of patents will go down as enforcing them in a timely and cost-effective way will be more difficult.” Judge Michel also commented on his belief that the costs, delays and unpredictability of the new patent process, will lead to more issues than under the previous system.

Members of the AIPLA also voiced their opinion that lawmakers largely ignored the thoughts and opinions of individuals who will be most affected by the changes to the patent process. Judge Michel was outspoken on the fact that the community most influenced by IP law was not consulted thoroughly, “The great flow of capital into new technologies that we have seen in the past is drying up. If we want investment in research and development, job creation, building new facilities and getting companies to IPO, then we need to create more incentives – and it seems to me that the AIA is doing the opposite of that.”

The America Invents Act is facing a large amount of criticism already and will continue to encounter disagreement, but only time will tell how this legislation will effect investment and invention in the US.

Source: Intellectual Asset Management Magazine

Image Source: Free Digital Photos

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