US Patent Reform

For Canadian inventors and patent owners, the US is almost always the first jurisdiction in which patent protection is pursued.  Last Friday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a long-awaited comprehensive Patent Reform bill that will implement sweeping changes to the U.S. Patent system when it becomes law.  The Senate is expected to pass their bill later this year. For a copy of the bill as passed thus far and further discussion, click here.  Highlights include:

  • Switch: from first-to-invent system to first-to-file system.
  • Damages: damages would be tied to the “economic value [of the invention] properly attributable to the patent’s specific contribution over the prior art”, reducing many damage awards.
  • Treble Damages:  the instances where treble damages will be awarded are restricted, reducing damage awards.
  • Post-Grant Review: post-grant review proceedings would be available within 12–months of issuance .
  • Open Examination: Opening of the system for making submissions of prior art for any patent or pending application.
  • Venue and Jurisdiction: Restrictions on venue would likely remove the popular E.D.Texas as a choice for patent infringement lawsuits.

    The progress of this bill is being closely watched and still hotly debated in the patent and licensing community in the US.
    Calgary – 10:15 MST

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