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Eldora Ellison & Jeremiah Frueauf

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America Invents: Immediate Changes to Patent Law Start Today

On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and, with his signature, which will marshal in major changes to the U.S. patent system. Many provisions of the Act take effect a year or more after this date including, e.g., procedures for post-grant review proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (after September 16, 2012) and a change to a first inventor to file system (after March 16, 2013). However, a number of changes will take effect on September 16, 2011, or soon thereafter. The immediate and nearly immediate changes are outlined here in this article.