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The America Invents Act: Have You Updated Your Patent Strategies?

By Steven Lendaris of Baker Botts LLP

Steven Lendaris is special counsel to the New York office of Baker Botts. His practice focuses on life science-related intellectual property counseling and patent litigation. He can be contacted at

On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the America Invents Act, ushering in the most significant changes to American patent law of the last 60 years. Among its most controversial provisions, the Act radically redefines how inventorship is determined and authorizes unprecedented post-grant review procedures. Advocates of the Act argue that such provisions are necessary to improve patent quality and to reduce the crushing backlog of unexamined patents at the U.S. Patent Office. However, it is imperative that patent applicants, whether they are large multinationals, small start-ups, universities, or even individual inventors, be aware of how the Act has changed the U.S. patent system so they may appropriately update their existing patent strategies.

The majority of applicants will face three primary challenges when considering how to update their patent strategies in light of the Act. First, they will need to address the shift from a “first-to-invent” system for determining inventorship to a “first-inventor-to-file” system. They will also need to prepare for the new ...

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