For years, the U.S. has talked about substantially overhauling U.S. patent law so that it conforms with how most of the rest of the world approaches patent rights. Now, it might become a reality. Yesterday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed patent reform legislation, which if signed, will have the greatest effect on patent law in the last fifty years. See Patently-O’s recent post
for a good overview of the legislation. It has been reported that the President is likely to sign the Smith-Leahy America Invents Act into law in the next few days. The most significant change will be to move from a first-to-invent country toward a first-to-file country. This change will greatly affect U.S. practitioners’ patent procurement and litigation strategies. See http://www.patentlyo.com/patentreformbillaspassed.pdf
for the language of the Act.