June 21, 2011 14:27 Age: 3 yrs

Holbrook Discusses the America Invents Act in Federalist Society Podcast

Emory Law Professor Timothy Holbrook participated in a panel discussion on "The America Invents Act: First to File Versus First to Invent?" for a podcast from the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. In the podcast, panelists discussed the constitutionality and propriety of U.S. patent reform, particularly the shift from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system.

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From the Federalist Society website:

Since the first U.S. patent statute in 1790, U.S. patent law has authorized the grant of patent rights to the first to invent or to discover a patentable invention, subject to specified terms and conditions. Currently under consideration as S. 23 and H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act will substantially change the American patent system by eliminating this uniquely American approach in securing property rights in inventions to only their first and true inventors. Section 2 in the Senate and the House bills will replace the current "first-to-invent" system with the "first-to-file" system long enforced in England and in other countries by deleting or rewriting numerous references to priority of inventorship in the existing statutory sections concerning novelty and obviousness.

Does the proposed change from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system rewrite core patent law fundamentals in this country by shifting the balance among individual inventors, large corporations and patent holding companies? What is the likely effect of this proposed change on innovation and development, the keys to a growing economy? Are the projected benefits worth the anticipated costs? Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, is the proposed change even Constitutional? These and other topics are debated and discussed among a panel of law professors moderated by an experienced practitioner.

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