Is real patent reform now in our sights?

Patently O reminds us September should bring with it passage of the America Invents Act of 2011, the first patent reform in nearly sixty years. H.R. 1249:

  • grants rights to the first-inventor-to-file (rather than first-to-invent) a patent application, to come into conformity with the rest of the world and to reduce┬ástrangling litigation over patent ownership;
  • creates an additional post-grant opposition program;
  • eliminates the one-year grace period for third-party disclosures;
  • provides the PTO with a mechanism (if convoluted) to spend the fees it collects, hopefully enough funding to allow the office to reduce the backlog of 1.2 million patents pending;
  • makes it easier for corporate patent owners to file applications associated with non-cooperative inventors;
  • eliminates best mode failure as an infringement defense; and
  • removes incentives to sue for false patent marking.