U.S. Representatives Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) have introduced their version of the America Invents Act (AIA), which was recently approved by the U.S. Senate. According to a leading patent law blog, the House bill parallels the Senate version in many ways, including mandates that switch to a first-to-file system, establish a modified inter partes reexamination and post grant opposition system, and provide the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office with fee-setting authority.

Key differences between the new proposal and the Senate version apparently include (i) “details of the post grant opposition provision”; (ii) “prior user rights”; (iii) “special business method proceedings, venue restrictions, interlocutory appeals, and attorney fee shifting”; (iv) “automatic stay of litigation for inter partes reviews”; (v) “elimination of tax strategy patents”; and (vi) “codification of Knorr Bremse (failure to present advice of counsel cannot be used as evidence of willful infringement.” See PatentlyO.com, March 31, 2011.