The Patent Reform Act of 2010 was formerly the Patent Reform Act of 2009 - which, in turn, was almost identical to the Patent Reform Act of 2007. The Patent Reform Act of 2007 was passed by the House of Representatives but failed to win approval in the Senate. The Patent Reform Act of 2009/2010 likewise failed to become law, resulting in the current patent reform legislation.
In the Patent Reform Act of 2010, the term “reform” was really a euphemism for “weaken.” The Patent Reform Act of 2010 would not really reform anything, but would have, in fact, seriously weakened patents and made it easier for unscrupulous businesses to steal patents from their rightful owners by beating them to the Patent Office had it become law.
From First-to-Invent to First-to-File: This change would issue patents not to the person who really created the invention and first put it into use (“first to invent”), but would issue patents to those who beat everyone else to the Patent Office (“first to file”). It would lead to inventions being stolen from the true inventors simply because they failed to get to the Patent Office first!
Other Changes: The Patent Reform Act of 2009 and 2010 called for other changes to the patent system, such as establishing joint inventors and co-inventors, revising the procedures for patent interference disputes, revising requirements for an inventor’s oath, and allowing third parties to file patent applications.
Supporters and Opponents: The Patent Reform Act of 2009 and 2010 was supported primarily by the large software companies, while both the major labor unions and business groups, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, were opposed to the legislation.
Where AIPR Stands: AIPR was absolutely opposed to this proposed law, especially the switch from the current “first-to-invent” standard to the proposed “first-to-file” concept that would result in inventions being stolen from their rightful owners!
Watch the Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Meeting to finalize their mark-up of S. 515, the Patent Reform Act of 2009.
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Latest Patent Legislation: The America Invents Act