The America Invents Act: New Tools for Challenging Patents
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) represents the most dramatic change to the United States patent system in 60 years, but it remains to be seen whether the new laws actually will alter the landscape of American patent litigation. The AIA provides for new contested proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) with the promise of faster, cheaper, and easier tools for patent challenges. With such lofty goals, the question is whether the proceedings will live up to their promise. Similar legislation for inter partes reexamination was introduced close to 10 years ago. But today the procedure rarely is used. Will the contested proceedings face a similar fate? Or will the legislation provide the patent bar with better tools for challenging patents? This article examines that question by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the new contested proceedings, as well as their interplay with district court litigation and appeals to the Federal Circuit.
Reprinted with permission from The Computer & Internet Lawyer, June 2012, Volume 29, Nu mber 6.