Client Alert

| September 21, 2011

Leahy-Smith America Invents Act: First Major US Patent Reform in nearly 50 Years Signed into Law

President Obama has now signed into law the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the nation's first major patent reform in decades. The Act's passage is the culmination of more than six years of intensive debate and compromise since Rep. Lamar Smith first introduced major US patent reform legislation in 2005. With controversial elements of the Act removed because of recent case law, 2011 marked a dramatic shift away from the impasse that had previously stalled the bill. Positioned as a jobs-creating bill that would not add to the nation's deficit, the Senate passed its version of the Act, S. 23, 92-2 on March 8, 2011, the House passed its version of the Act, H.R. 1249, 304-117 on June 23, 2011, and the Senate narrowly managed to avoid amending H.R. 1249, passing the House version 89-9 on September 8, 2011.

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