On 8 March 2011, the United States Senate voted to pass an historic patent reform legislation. The main features of this bill are:
- First-to-file system - precedence to the first inventor to file an application
- Attack backlog - diverting fees back to the Patent Office to hire examiners
- Alternatives to litigation - ability to challenge patents after they are granted to avoid litigation
Though it has not become law in the United States as yet, it is a critical development step along the way.
FB Rice will be monitoring future developments.