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The start of the 115th United States Congress and the swearing-in of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States in January 2017 created same-party control of both houses of Congress and the White House, as well as the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice, setting the stage for potentially sweeping changes to U.S. economic and trade policies. At the intersection of economy and trade is the U.S. patent system.
The purpose of this book, Patent Reform, therefore, is to comprehensively review the myriad reforms to the U.S. patent system that have been introduced and debated since the 2011 enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) (Pub. L. 112-29). The scope of the proposed reforms since the AIA is striking, especially given that the AIA itself ushered in the biggest changes to the U.S. patent laws since at least the Patent Act of 1952 (fundamentally reorganizing and codifying the patent laws), and perhaps going all the way back to the Patent Act of 1836 (creating an examinational system of Patent Office review of patent applications).
The AIA, for its part, is most notable for converting the United States from a “first to invent” patent system to a “first to file” patent system and for creating a new postgrant administrative system for challenging the validity of issued patents at the Patent Office rather than in courts.