IBM congratulates the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for reaching a consensus on patent reform legislation today. This landmark action is an important step toward preserving American innovation leadership and stimulating economic growth.
As the leading recipient of U.S. patents for the past 18 years, IBM has supported patent reform since the moment the legislation was first introduced over five years ago. An efficient and effective patent system is vital to the American inventors and innovators who help fuel our nation’s competitiveness in the global economy.
The America Invents Act, which will become law when it is signed by President Obama, marks the most extensive and important update to the U.S patent system in nearly 60 years. This legislation balances the needs of patent system participants and will enhance the quality of patents issued by the USPTO.
Following years of deliberation and revisions, our elected officials have produced balanced, common-sense legislation that will lead to significant improvements to our patent system, which has not kept pace with dramatic changes in technology and innovation over the last half century. The patent bill is poised to usher in a variety of changes that will improve the patent system, such as:
- Expanding rights for third parties to submit information related to published applications to a patent examiner, and establishing a post-grant review process, which will improve the quality of issued patents.
- Increasing U.S. competitiveness by transitioning to a more objective first-inventor-to-file system, which is used throughout the rest of the world.
- Providing fee setting authority to the USPTO, which will give it the ability to implement the new programs, address the backlog in patent applications, etc.
This patent legislation, together with the recent court decisions, puts the US patent system in a much better position to spur innovation in the 21st century.