As you may recall, so-called “patent reform” law (The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act – or “AIA” for short) was passed on 2011-09-16 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leahy-Smith_America_Invents_Act) and has been incrementally taking effect ever since. As such, Friday 2013-03-15 is the final day to file patent applications under the old first-to-invent system, as the first-inventor-to-file system starts 2013-03-16.
Practically, the AIA’s change to first-inventor-to-file should have little impact on startups and other small businesses. For example, under the old first-to-file system, the first inventor was determined by an “Interference” proceeding before an administrative department of the USPTO (the BPAI). Under the new first-inventor-to-file, whether someone “invented” or “derived” an invention will be determined by a “Derivation” proceeding before an administrative department of the USPTO (the PTAB). Each of these proceedings is expensive, time-consuming, and (for startups and small businesses) extremely rare.
Like most new laws, the AIA has language that is ambiguous and whose meaning will only be determined over time (typically via litigation). As such, Clocktower anticipates that the rate of new patent filings under the AIA will increase in the short term. This should result in longer patent-pending periods and longer wait times from an initial nonprovisional patent application to a first office action on the merits.
The AIA was passed largely in the name of patent reform itself – and to satisfy a perceived need to “harmonize” US patent laws with Europe and other regions/countries. As you know, I believe that harmonization for harmonization’s sake is silly, but it is politically popular, so there you go.
Erik J. Heels is a trademark and patent lawyer, Boston Red Sox fan, MIT engineer, and musician. He blogs about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll at ErikJHeels.com.
This article analyzes, chronologically, how the US got itself – and the world – into the current recession. I wrote this post primarily for me, because I don’t want to forget how we got into this mess. But if others like it, that’s gravy.
For the record, I have never belonged to any political party. As it says under “political views” on my Facebook profile, “I vote for the smartest candidate. It doesn’t always work out.”
1946-2001: Back Story
Book Review: Economics In One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt (1946, Yes, 1946) The current recession began in 1946 when zero politicians bought this book. You don’t need to study economics in school. You need to read this book. Hazlitt explains, in simple terms, how classic economic mistakes are made by pursuing short-term policies that benefit only a select few at the expense of a long-term policies that could benefit many.
President George W. Bush started two wars and created two windfalls (Bush tax cuts for the rich and TARP bailouts for Wall Street banks). These are the Big Four expenses that started the current economic downturn.
President Barack Obama promised to end the two wars and the two windfalls (Bush tax cuts and TARP bailouts). To date, he has done none of this. In late 2010, Obama extended the Bush-era tax cuts. So they are Obama’s tax cuts now.
The Sub-Prime Primer (2008-05-07) The housing market started to collapse in 2008. This presentation explains how and why the housing market failed.
The #Occupy Movement: The Frogs Figured Out That The Water Was Boiling. To late? Or just in time. (That first sentence is in init caps because it was going to be the title of this post.) I recall what one Occupy Boston protester said about why he was protesting: “The Bush Administration may have caused the recession, but the Obama Administration didn’t do what it said it was going to do to end the recession (namely ending the wars, the Bush tax cuts, and the bailouts), and so we the Occupiers feel disenfranchised, with nowhere to turn but the streets.” Then, rather than arresting the politicians and bankers that caused the economic mess, the police started arresting the 99%! Crazy. Perhaps 10 years after 9/11, the terrorists have won.
There are many problems with the world, its economy, and its denizens.
People have a short attention span. Most have forgotten the Big Four and what preceded it (9/11).
People make decisions based on emotion, not on logic.
People don’t understand large numbers like billions and trillions (hint: try removing eight zeros).
People take facts out of context.
News is entertainment.
Politicians know people.
So what happens? Politicians prey on emotions to get people to vote in certain ways.
It’s takes money to make money.
Lobbyists lobby, laws change.
Follow the money.
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
And instead of a government of the people, by the people, for the people, we have a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich.
It is sad, but it is true. Copyright law was long ago hijacked by Hollywood. In 2011, patent law was hijacked by big business.
50% of those in Congress are millionaires. Whose interests do you think they have in mind?
I don’t know who the next US president will be. But the formula for breaking the economy is well known:
9/11 Wars + Tax Cuts + Bailouts = Recession
Here’s how to fix the economy:
End The 9/11 Wars + End The Bush Tax Cuts + End The Bailouts = End The Recession
There has been a failure of leadership in Washington, DC. There been a failure of followership. And there has been a failure of get-out-of-the-way-ship. The 112th Congress will go down in history as one of the most political, least effective, and most corrupt ever. Unless things change soon, this independent voter may end up casting protest votes in all contests for himself. Again.
I’m pretty good at spotting trends. Do you see the trend here? The natives are getting restless. The US government must reform now.
Said the king to his protesting subjects, “You have to do what I say or I can’t be king anymore!”
Erik J. Heels is an MIT engineer; trademark, domain name, and patent lawyer; Red Sox fan; and music lover. He blogs about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll at ErikJHeels.com.