President Barack Obama recently signed the America Invents Act, which the White House characterized as the most significant reform of the U.S. patent process since 1952.
During the signing ceremony at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, the president said, "This much-needed reform will speed up the patent process so that innovators and entrepreneurs can turn a new invention into a business as quickly as possible."
The new law establishes fast-track, 12-month processing of patent applications, which offers start-ups and other growing companies a chance to more swiftly acquire the patents needed to win investment capital. The White House also said the law will reduce patent-related litigation by providing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with new ways to settle disputes without resorting to lawsuits.
The law will also result in a reduction of the patent application backlog, will increase patent quality, and provide more intellectual property protections for American business people and inventors working abroad, according to a White House statement.
On September 8, the USPTO held a special ceremony at the Smithsonian Institution to mark the signing of Patent No. 8 Million, which went to Second Sight Medical Products for a visual prosthesis apparatus.