Patent Reform Legislation Update
- Provides that the right to a patent will be awarded to the first inventor to file for a patent who provides an adequate disclosure for a claimed invention;
- Simplifies the process by which an applicant takes an oath governing the particulars of an invention and the identity of the rightful inventor;
- Deletes the â€œbest modeâ€� requirement from Â§112 of the Patent Act, which lists certain â€œspecificationsâ€� that an inventor must set forth in an application;
- Codifies the law related to inequitable conduct in connection with patent proceedings before the PTO;
- Clarifies the rights of an inventor to damages for patent infringement;
- Authorizes courts with jurisdiction over patent cases to grant injunctions in accordance with the principles of equity to prevent the violation of patent rights;
- Authorizes the PTO to limit by regulation the circumstances in which patent applicants may file a continuation and still be entitled to priority date of the parent application;
- Expands the 18 month publication feature to all applications;
- Creates a new postâˆ’grant opposition system; and
- Allows third-party submission of prior art within six months after the date of publication of the patent application.
In his Subcommittee Hearing Statement, Congressman Smith explained that "We intend to mark-up this bill by the end of the month. So it is incumbent upon the Subcommittee members, industry stakeholders, the PTO, and other interested parties to work hard and in good-faith between now and June 30th."
In other legislative news, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property has scheduled a hearing on "Patent Law Reform: Injunctions and Damages " for Tuesday, June 14, 2005 at 2:30 p.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.