August's featured article
Rules and Roadshows
An Update on the AIA
September 16th marks the one-year anniversary of the signing of the America Invents Act (AIA) into law, so what better way to celebrate than activating several provisions of the landmark patent reform bill? Over the past few months, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has made rules to implement the new AIA provisions. In doing so, the agency has sought input from the public and incorporated that input into the rules.
The next round of AIA provisions go into effect on September 16 and will improve the patent system in different ways. First, they help simplify the process for applicants to secure a patent and enable patent owners to provide examiners with information that may not have been presented during the original patent application prosecution. Second, they permit third parties to submit prior art for examiners to consider during examination, thereby making a more informed patentability determination sooner in the examination process. Lastly, the new AIA provisions offer third parties an alternative to the district court system for challenging the patentability of a claimed invention in an issued patent that is more timely, efficient, and less expensive than litigation.
To help inventors and businesses understand the new final rules and how they will affect their applications, the USPTO is hosting "roadshows" across the United States during September. Director of the USPTO David Kappos, Deputy Director of the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea, agency intellectual property experts, and legal advisors and administrative law judges will visit eight cities for day-long seminars to discuss the final rules in detail and answer questions. The roadshows will be held at the USPTO's Patent and Trademark Resource Centers in Alexandria, Va., Atlanta, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York City.
"It is an invigorating time to be part of the patent system," said Director Kappos. "On September 16, 2012, many new provisions of the America Invents Act become available for the public to use, and the agency has prepared for this day by making new final rules for implementation. I welcome the inventor community to attend the roadshows and learn about the new provisions and our final rules."
The USPTO will be publishing its final rules in the Federal Register in late July and early August, more than one month before the provisions become available for public use. To see the final rules when published, check out the Federal Register. The USPTO will make the final rules available at www.uspto.gov/AmericaInventsAct.
The roadshows are free and open to the public. View the full roadshow schedule and find out more information atuspto.gov.