Proposed reform of US patents approved3 May 2011
On 14 April 2011 the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives of the United States of America approved the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249).
The America Invents Act applies a first-inventor-to-file standard for granting patents, it creates a post-grant revision system in order to eliminate patents lacking in merit, and also supports the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in managing any backlog of work.
The main characteristics of the proposed law are: authorization for a re-examination of patents concerning business methods upon request from third parties, with the presentation of information concerning a patent application that may be useful for the Examiner; authorization to the PTO to establish fees on patents and trademarks so as to recoup the costs of the services, and maintenance of the best mode requirement regarding the presentation of the application.
The proposed law has yet to be passed by a plenary session of the House of Representatives.
The text of the Bill can be found at the link: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/mark_04142011.html