The Bill is Signed: President Obama Signs America Invents Act

Lechleiter, Foreman, Kullman, Mathews, Hyndman, Leahy, Smith, Goodlatte, Watt, Moran, Poppy, Kappos and Blank Smile while Obama signs the America Invents Act into Law.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being present at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to witness President Obama sign into law the America Invents Act.

President Obama started by commending the students of what he called “One of the best high schools in the country.” He mentioned that; “We have an exhibit of some of the projects that you guys are doing, including the fist high school student satellite, a wheel chair controlled by brain waves, robotics and more.” He made the crowd smile when he jokingly said; “I am hoping that I will learn something just by being close to you; through osmosis. I already feel smart just standing here.”

President Obama, Rebecca Hyndman (Student and Inventor), Louis Foreman of Enventys, CEO of Eli Lilly John Lechleiter , DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman, CEO of Unchartered Play Jessica Mathews, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Representative Bob Goodlatte, (R-VA), Representative Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), Representative Jim Moran (D-VA), Karishma Poppy (Student), Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank and USPTO Director David Kappos. Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology student Rebecca Hyndman received her first patent in 2010 at the age of 16.


Following are some important excerpts from President Obama’s talk prior to signing the act into law.

“When Thomas Edison filed his patent for the phonograph, his application was approved in just 7 weeks. And these days that process is taking an average of 3 years. Over the last decade, patent applications have nearly tripled. And because the patent office doesn’t have the resources to deal with all of them, right now there are about 700,000 applications that haven’t even been opened yet. These are jobs and businesses of the future just waiting to created…. and somewhere in that stack of applications could be the next technological break through, the next miracle drug, the next idea that will launch the next fortune 500 company.”

“We can’t afford to drag our feet any longer at a time when we should be doing everything we can to create good middle class jobs and to Americans back to work. And we have always succeeded because we have been the most dynamic innovative economy in the world. That has to be encouraged. That has to be continued. We have to do everything we can to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit wherever we find it. We should be helping American companies compete and sell their products all over the world. We should be making it easier and faster to turn new ideas into new jobs and new businesses and we should knock down any barriers that stand in the way. Because if we’re going to create jobs now and in the future, we’re going to have to out build and out educate and out innovate every other country on earth. We’ve got a lot of competition out there and if we make it too hard for people with good ideas to attract investment and get them to market then countries like China are going to at it and beat us to it.”

President Obama described the America Invents Act, “So that’s why I asked Congress to send me a bill that reforms the outdated patent process. A bill that cuts away the red tape that slows down our inventors and entrepreneurs and today I am happy to have the opportunity to finally sign that bill. It is a bill that will put a dent in the huge stack of applications waiting for review. It will help start-ups and small business owners turn their ideas into products three times faster than they can today. And it will improve quality and give entrepreneurs the protection and the confidence they need to attract investment to grow their businesses and hire more workers.”

President Obama also mentioned the American Jobs Act and discussed how it is related to the America Invents Act by saying, “I have to take this opportunity while I have some members of congress here to say I’ve got another bill that I’d like to get passed…” which ultimately led to some laughter and applause.

President Obama said the following about the America Invents and American Jobs Acts; “We need to continue to provide incentives and support to make sure that the next generation of manufacturer takes root not in China or in Europe but right here in the United States, because it is not enough to invent things here. Our workers should also be building the products here that are stamped with three proud words ‘Made in America’.”

Finally before ending to sign the bill, President Obama reminded and urged Americans that, “There are folks in Washington who may be fine waiting until the next elections to settle our differences and move forward but the next election is 14 months away. The American people can’t wait that long. There are a lot of people out there living paycheck-to-paycheck, even day-to-day. They are working hard, they are making tough choices and they are meeting their responsibilities but they need us to do the same. So I need everybody who’s listening here and across the country, tell congress, pass the American Jobs Act. We came together to pass patent reform, we should be able to come together to also put people back to work.”

President Obama signed the America Invents Act into law at exactly 11:42 AM, September 16, 2011 closing with; “All right guys, congratulations, the bill is signed.”

L to R: Bob Stoll (Commissioner), David Kappos (Director), Dana Colarulli (Legislative Affairs), Peter Pappas (Communications)

Renee Quinn of IPWatchdog (left) with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (right)

Left: Senator Leahy chats with Gary Michelson. Right: Senator Leahy & Congressman Smith pose for pictures.

Left: Albert Tramposch, Peter Pappas and Drew Hirshfeld --- Right: Q. Todd Dickinson

Left: Michael Diep (Inventor, VP and Co-founder of EdisonNation Vietnam) and Louis Foreman (Everyday Edisons) --- Right: Students from Thomas Jefferson High School

Left: Senator Leahy and Congressman Smith arrive, Herb Wamsley (IPO) looks on --- Right: President Obama works the crowd


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Join the Discussion

19 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    September 20, 2011 03:06 pm

    The same Science Mag site has an article re effects of AIA of 9-2011:

    One point of note that has not been explored in detail here is this:

    “Particularly troubling, he believes, is language that expands “prior user rights.” Those come into play if one company patents a new technology or process, but it turns out that a second company was already using it as a “trade secret.” ”

    I’m wondering what level of “proof” a prior-rights defender needs to offer in court. Will some spoofed up document stored in their computer be enough?


  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    September 20, 2011 02:44 pm

    I asked at comment #2 of how one would like to have their PhD pulled after it was awarded (issued)?

    Looks like I spoke too soon.
    Hat tip to IPBiz of today: PhD awardee stripped of his degree:

    But then again, apparently he brought it on himself by committing massive fraud and getting caught:

    That is not the same as the awardee of a US patent who does nothing wrong, but nonetheless gets hauled back into the woodshed for a second shellacking thanks to the AIA of 9-2011.

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    September 19, 2011 09:30 pm

    edit– “without” first having to run to attorney

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    September 19, 2011 09:29 pm


    Good question.

    Under the F2I regime (first to invent), a small time inventor could “conceive” of an inventive idea, record that conception in his inventors notebook (with proper corroboration) and then proceed to diligently perfect and reduce his invention to actual practice (i.e. build a prototype) with first having to run to his patent attorney and pay big legal fees.

    Under F2F (first to file), first to conceive and diligently reduce to practice means nothing anymore. Everybody has to immediately run to their patents attorney and pay big legal fees for preparing many PPA’s (provisional patent applications).

    This is where the Big Boys have an advantage over the little guys. It’s called volume transactions and economies of scale. The Big Boys go to a big law firm and say, you want my big-volume business, you gotta give me big volume discounts on each PPA. A little guy can’t do that. He’s go to pay full retail price on every PPA. Capeech?

  • [Avatar for bluez]
    September 19, 2011 08:28 pm

    i do not understand why people say that first to file only benefits big businesses. are they saying that big businesses cannot fabricate paper trail under the first to invent system?

  • [Avatar for Dinty Moore]
    Dinty Moore
    September 19, 2011 02:18 pm

    As a small inventor that is trying to turn an idea into a business, I find this bill to be a piece of garbage. But it is a golden nugget for the big boys that can see an idea or a prototype then rush to get a patent and the resulting profits. My first patent took me 6 months to write since I didn’t know what I was doing. Any person with half a brain knows you take an idea, make it, test it, change it, test it, change it, etc. then get your patent. Those ideas will be on the market in the form of a product before any small time inventor can sharpen their pencil to write a patent.
    With this way of thinking, any hard working farmer better watch out for his crops that took them 6 months to grow. The first thief in the night can go in and harvest them and take them to market. The republicans and democrats are to blame on this one.
    Changes and improvements could have – and should have – been made without changing the first to invent. That is just typical of how politicians get their hand in your pocket when offering you a piece of candy.

    Steve M……well written

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    September 19, 2011 11:32 am


    See the comment about the FY 2012 budget on the thread “ .”

  • [Avatar for Randy L]
    Randy L
    September 19, 2011 10:53 am


    What about trading expensive but rare Interferences for expensive, more prevalent, and legally unworkable Derivations? The America Invents Act does not provide for any subpoena power for the injured party to acquire the records needed to prove that the other party’s application or disclosure derived from the true inventor?

    What about a new era where there will be an incentive to keep new technologies hidden because the holder of a Trade Secret will not be subject to another’s patent, AND will be able to file for a patent at any time in the future? Along the same line, what about the new ability to strategically withhold Best Mode in order to keep a new technology secret? Both of these go completely against the reason for having a patent system.

    What about the removal of all the language guarding against “deceptive intent” (in section 20), in effect giving an incentive to deceive?

    What about the new need for an inventor to be more secretive, and, as in Europe, to need to try to file an application before disclosing the invention to anyone (which greatly reduces startups)? Sure, you could just publicly disclose it, but then you’ve got your information out there for years before you have any patent protection.

    And, the backlog problem, with the continued possibility of Fee Diversion, won’t be a problem for those who fork out $4,800 or $2,400 bucks up front to pay for faster service under “Prioritized Examination.”

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    September 19, 2011 10:11 am


    You think that the 15% increase will only work to thin the wallets of those paying user fees? Have you been paying attention to the budget request made by the PTO for FY 2012? They are requesting $2.7 billion and the word I am hearing is that they are likely to get that amount, which represents a significant increase for the PTO, which will allow investment in better IT systems and more hiring.

    At least with post grant review after the window closes it will be more difficult to bring serial challenges due to a higher standard.

    You are right about Wilmer and right about Schumer.


  • [Avatar for EG]
    September 19, 2011 08:39 am


    You make a good point that the “false marking” provision is one “reform” you can point to in the AIA. But I also agree with you that the rest of the AIA is essentially malarkey.

  • [Avatar for patent enforcement]
    patent enforcement
    September 19, 2011 08:29 am

    One of the few helpful measures that I see contained in this legislation is a provision requiring a showing of “competitive injury” in order to obtain standing in a false marking suit. This should prove effective in reducing (if not eliminating) the new scourge of false marking patent trolls. And, doubtless, those at the USPTO are looking forward to a probable increase in fees. But, from what I can tell, the rest of this bill is mostly a wash.

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    September 19, 2011 07:41 am


    Given that you are not a patent professional and can therefore cop out with a line like, Hey I’m no rocket scientist, or Hey, I’m no Latin-speaking high powered IP lawyer; it would be interesting to know if any of our messages (from the loyal opposition) got through to you.

    Did you understand that a 15% immediate increase in PTO fees with no change in PTO behavior works to “streamline” the process in only one way, by thinning the wallets of inventors who often can’t afford this expensive process in the first place?

    Did you understand that the additional “post grant” reviews “streamline” the process by lengthening the torture line and by further increasing legal expenses for inventors? As it is, inventors are often tortured for a long and expensive time just to get through to the first examiner who handles their application. Not all examiners are bad, but I’m sure many here can write in with their horror stories. Adding another round of in-PTO “review” just double downs on the torture. Did you get that?

    Imagine for example getting a PhD in the social sciences (or an MBA) and then being called back for a second defense of your PhD in front of a new board of review because some stranger arbitrarily “protested” after you had already run the gamut the the first time and gotten your diploma. How exactly do you think that second board of review is going to justify their existence if not by saying, oops you never deserved your awarded PhD diploma in the first place?

    Did you understand that Senator Schumer got some shady special deal in for his buddies on Wall street?

    Did you understand that some malpractice committing law firm (forgot their name) got some shady sweet heart deal thrown in just for them?


  • [Avatar for EG]
    September 19, 2011 07:08 am

    “It will help start-ups and small business owners turn their ideas into products three times faster than they can today. And it will improve quality and give entrepreneurs the protection and the confidence they need to attract investment to grow their businesses and hire more workers.”

    It’s because of nonsensical fabrications like these why I trust NOTHING that comes out to the mouth of the current occupant of the White House. It’s also why HELL COULD FREEZE OVER, and I wouldn’t vote for Obama.

  • [Avatar for Renee C. Quinn]
    Renee C. Quinn
    September 19, 2011 12:50 am

    step back,

    Thank you for writing to me. I actually recorded the entire speech. I did not post the entire speech but chose what I felt were interesting and compelling thoughts. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

    Steve and Corporate, the good thing, regardless of if you agree to the provisions with the bill or not, at least they are making progress. I am not an IP professional, although I am married to one. I am an online marketing specialist, so I will not profess to know the ins and outs of the bill. i do know though that without the USPTO having full access to the funds it brings in, they will never be able to remove the back log. the USPTO is a money generator for the government. it’s just sad that they are unable to keep that which they take in. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment.

    And if you guys have a moment, please check out my new FB page and please click like if you like what you see!


  • [Avatar for bluez]
    September 18, 2011 08:48 pm

    “Entrepreneur” = Someone who usually is NOT an inventor but rather someone who often takes others ideas as free gifts for himself and figures out how to make a quick buck with them.

    Step ~ u are both right & wrong

  • [Avatar for Corporate Refugee]
    Corporate Refugee
    September 18, 2011 07:45 pm

    what a sack of s**t. even more disturbing is that this is emblematic of the level of BS behind every piece of legislation to emanate from this administration.

  • [Avatar for Will Godfrey]
    Will Godfrey
    September 18, 2011 12:35 pm

    America does not invent, neither does China, nor Russia etc.

    PEOPLE invent, and you know what? They are all over the world daring to have ideas without permission, and then having the gall to put their ideas into practice. But in America they can’t do this now because someone who has heard a vague outline of the idea locks the whole scenario up in a patent.

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    September 17, 2011 01:43 pm

    Thank you for being our eyewitness to history and reporting on the President’s words.

    I’ve tried finding a copy of the speech that has all the words in it (the above seems to be missing a few).

    The White House did not provide a transcript but rather this so-called “facts” sheet:

    @Steve September:
    To answer your concerns, there are no lies in the President’s speech.
    You simply misunderstand the words he uses.
    Perhaps this Rosetta translation guide will help you:

    “Entrepreneur” = Someone who usually is NOT an inventor but rather someone who often takes others ideas as free gifts for himself and figures out how to make a quick buck with them.

    So now go ahead and re-read the speech. It will make sense.
    The AIA truly does remove barriers for “entrepreneurs”.

  • [Avatar for Steve M]
    Steve M
    September 17, 2011 11:07 am

    “It will help start-ups and small business owners turn their ideas into products three times faster than they can today.”

    There are lies; and then there are damn lies.

    Respectfully, Mr. President, this is a damn lie.

    And there are many more of them which have been–and will continue to be–spewed by those who either didn’t / don’t know what they’re talking about; or who do know, and go ahead and speak such lies anyway.

    But whether through ignorance or lying, the net bottom line is the same:

    A massive fraud has been committed on the American people.