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America Invents Act
In the USA, the America Invents Act (previously called The Patent Reform Act) is legislation that was adopted in September 2011, after numerous rejected proposals starting in 2005. It changes very little. The USA moves from first-to-invent to First-to-file, slight improvements are brought to post-grant review, etc.
The 2005 proposal aimed to implement proposals from the excellent US FTC 2003 report on innovation, but the proposals got watered down each year until only a minimalist act was passed in 2011.
However, even in its 2005 form, this proposal did not propose the reform we need - it would not end or greatly reduce the granting of software patents by the USPTO. We need to change what can be patented - what areas are "patentable subject matter", to have software removed. This reform may reduce the problem of patent trolls (although as of August 2012 there seems to be no change), but won't have any effect on the harm to standards or on MPEG video formats.
 The successive proposals
With links to the Wikipedia articles for each:
- Patent Reform Act of 2005
- Patent Reform Act of 2007
- Patent Reform Act of 2009
- Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, 2011
 Related pages on en.swpat.org
- 2008 State of Software Patents, Section III discusses Congress and The Patent Reform Act
- Raising examination standards
- Legislation in the USA
- Calculating infringement damages in the USA - the reform aims to change damages
- First-to-file or first-to-invent
- ESP: The Patent Reform Act
- http://www.patentfairness.org/ - A campaign generally supporting the proposed reforms
 News selection
- IP Experts Question Patent Reform Provisions, 15 June 2010
- Conyers: Patent Talks Appear 'Stalled', 5 May 2010
- Patent Reform Act of 2010: An Overview, March 2010, Patently-O
- Patently-o article about The Patent Reform Act 2009, Aug 2009, Patently-O
- Lawmakers Take Another Shot At Patent Reform, March 2009, Slashdot
- New patent reform bill would streamline appeal process, April 2007, Ars Technica
- http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2007/01/why_microsoft_w.html - Jan 2007, Patently-O
- Patent Reform, 14 Dec 2005, Patently-O
- 2005 interview with Mark Webbink, 16 Sep 2005, O'Reilly Net
 Senate committee hearings
- http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=3701 (March 10th 2009)
- http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=2803 (June 6th 2007)
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