The America Invents Act - Significant Changes to the United States Patent System
26 Sep 2011
On 16 September 2011, US President Barack Obama signed into law the America Invents Act (AIA).
The AIA is the first major change to US patent legislation in 60 years and introduces fundamental changes.
The US system is now more closely aligned with other major patent systems including Australia’s. One significant change is the switch to a first-inventor-to-file system. Previously, inventors had to prove the date of their invention, which required detailed record keeping and lead to complicated legal proceedings if more than one inventor claimed the same invention. First-to-file systems are simpler as the date of filing determines who is granted a patent.
The Act also introduces fee increases for some services provided by the USPTO. A significant number of fees will increase by 15 per cent from 26 September 2011. These fees include patent application filing fees and other fees associated with prosecuting and maintaining a patent in the US.
Further detail on the AIA, including effective dates and fee changes, can be found on the USPTO web site (http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/index.jsp).
Last Updated: 29/11/2012