Congress Passes Historic Patent Reform Legislation: America Invents Act Transitions U.S. Patent System from a “First-to-Invent” to “First-Inventor-to-File” System, Overhauls Post-Issue Review Proceedings and Provides Other Significant Reforms; Expected to Become Law by End of September

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - September 8, 2011

On September 8, 2011, the U.S. Senate approved a landmark bill to reform the nation’s patent system, entitled the “Leahy-Smith America Invents Act,” which was previously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on June 23, 2011. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law very soon. This legislation will change the U.S. patent system in several fundamental ways, including, (1) a groundbreaking transition from a “first-to-invent” to a “first-inventor-to-file” system, (2) a sweeping overhaul of the patent office's post-issue review and examination regime and (3) substantial modifications to the procedural and substantive provisions governing litigants involved in patent infringement proceedings.