Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to Be Signed into Law Friday

Today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced that the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) will be signed by President Obama on Friday, September 16th.

Announcing the signing aboard Air Force One today, Carney stated, “The America Invents Act passed with the president’s strong leadership after a decade of effort to reform our outdated patent laws.”

Carney also announced to reporters that, at the signing event Friday, President Obama will announce new steps that the White House is taking to “convert ideas of American Universities and research labs into new products to expand our economy and create jobs.” It is not clear if this announcement is related to intellectual property protection, or some other government initiative.

What does this mean for you, right now?

For those in the process of finalizing a request for inter partes patent reexamination, you may want to file before Friday to avoid rewriting your request to comply with the new standard (effective Friday). While the new standard is stricter, it remains to be seen whether or not the change will have significant impact until rebuttal evidence of the Patetee may be considered (as will be the case under Inter Partes Review).  

For those with patent application filings of any kind due in the next few weeks, keep in mind that new 15% fee surcharge will take effect on September 26th. The USPTO may be very busy on Friday, September 23rd. (meaning the EFS is almost sure to crash)

Of course there are other changes as well, here is a comprehensive chart of effective dates for the provisions of the AIA, shown at yesterday’s IPO meeting.

Going forward, the AIA will introduce many changes to the laws effective September 16, 2012, and some 6 months thereafter.