Washington, D.C. – Yesterday the United States Senate passed a landmark patent reform bill that will adopt a first-inventor-to-file system. Senate Bill 23 will also create an independent funding system and create a post-grant review process. The Senate has been looking at patent reform since 2005. Indiana Senators Dan Coats and Richard Lugar both voted in favor of the bill, which passed 95-5.
The bill now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives, where it will first be heard by the Judiciary Committee. The chairman of the judiciary committee, Representative Lamar Smith, has already made favorable comments about the bill. In a press release, he stated “Adopting a first-inventor-to-file standard creates certainty about patent ownership and makes it easier for American innovators to apply for patents around the world. The post-grant review process helps to reduce frivolous lawsuits filed by holders of weak or overbroad patents. And allowing for the third party submission of prior art helps prevent bad patents from being granted in the first place. These are just a few of the many provisions for which there is widespread support.”