The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has an online guide on the implementation of the America Invents Act and how the law effects patent examination, post-issuance matters, and USPTO fee and budgetary issues. The AIA website also provides the opportunity to submit comment on the AIA and the agency’s implementation of the law.
The Senate approved the Patent Reform Act which would transition the U.S. to a first-to-file system instead of the current first-to-invent system. The Act also creates a nine-month “first window” post-grant procedure to allow challenges to patents.
On June 1, 2009, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Bilski v. Doll, and will consider whether the en banc decision of the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit “Federal Circuit” in subjecting business method patents to the “machine or transformation” test was appropriate. Specifically, the Supreme Court will consider the following two issues:
- Whether the Federal Circuit erred by holding that a “process” must be tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or transform a particular article into a different state or thing “machine-or- transformation” test, to be eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. §101, despite this Court’s precedent declining to limit the broad statutory grant of patent eligibility for “any” new and useful process beyond excluding patents for “laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas.”, and
- Whether the Federal Circuit’s “machine-or-transformation” test for patent eligibility, which effectively forecloses meaningful patent protection to many business methods, contradicts the clear Congressional intent that patents protect “method[s] of doing or conducting business.” 35 U.S.C. §273.