This Note, contributed to InhouseBlog by Practical Law Company, summarizes the key features of the Patent Reform Act of 2011, known as the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). It provides an overview of the AIA’s reforms to US patent law, including changing the patent system from a first-to-invent to a first-inventor-to-file system, the scope of prior art used to determine novelty and the procedures for challenging the validity of issued patents. The Note also provides an overview of provisions that expand the prior use defense to patent infringement, eliminate the best mode defense and the need to obtain an opinion of counsel to defend against a willful infringement claim, allow for virtual patent marking and change false patent marking law, create a new supplemental examination procedure to limit potential inequitable conduct claims and change US Patent and Trademark Office and patent litigation procedures. Download An Overview of the America Invents Act today (PDF file).
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