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IPCC Features Update on Patent Reform Implementation

November 7, 2011
The BIO Intellectual Property Counsels Committee Fall Conference featured an update on the implementation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act by Janet Gongola, Associate Solicitor of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Some provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act took effect immediately when it was signed into law in September. Ms. Gongola reported that of the 20 provisions that must be implemented by the PTO, eight have been implemented and another ten are in final review and will be posted in the Federal Register in mid- to late-January for a 60-day notice and comment period.

The law required the PTO to undertake seven studies, two of which have begun. The PTO recently held public hearings on prior user rights and international patent protection and is accepting comments on both topics until mid-November. BIO provided testimony on the importance of international patent protection for small businesses.

Ms. Gongola encouraged the audience to submit comments throughout the process as the PTO is eager for feedback from the users of the patent system.

The PTO has an online guide to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act where you can subscribe to alerts, listen to archived webcasts of public hearings, and view a timeline of implementation highlights.