In a recent letter to House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith and ranking member John Conyers, U.S. commerce secretary Gary Locke outlined the official views of the Obama Administration on H.R. 1249, also known as the America Invents Act.
The legislation, which was sponsored by Smith, is intended to improve the U.S. patent system by streamlining the process of patent application and introducing a new, first-inventor-to-file standard for patent approval.
According to Locke, the legislation will help to reduce the need for litigation in many cases, reducing the number of new ideas that get caught up in court. Furthermore, the bill will enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to set and retain the fees it collects from applicants, a reform designed to help enable high-quality and timely review of patent applications.
The America Invents Act was already passed in a bipartisan vote of 32 to 3 in the House Judiciary Committee and related legislation passed the Senate in March.
According to Locke, the proposed legislation will potentially bring about the most significant reform to the U.S. patent system in 60 years.