The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is United States federal legislation that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011.

The Act switches the U.S. patent system from a “first to invent” to a “first inventor to file” system, eliminates interference proceedings, and develops post-grant opposition.

These are the key points points you must know about AIA.

Key Point 1

With the introduction of AIA, the patent system was opened up. After AIA there were some changes which are:

▪     There was no fault correction of misnaming of inventors.

▪     The technical filing of an affidavit that misnames the inventor were no longer a worry.

▪     Best mode was not a concern for the patentee.

▪     Prosecutions of patents was better because of supplemental examination.

Key Point 2

Deceptive intent was removed from the whole application process, patent owner can seek the patent as the applicant and no supplement oath was required.

Key Point 3

Post-grant review- After AIA the patents were open to more challenges. Any issue of patentability can be raised in the court as well as in PTO too. This let opposite parties to challenge patents on the same day patent was issued. Challenging patents in court was an expensive and time consuming process whereas post-grant reviews resolve these issues in matter of months at a fraction of cost.

Key Point 4

With AIA transparency, objectivity, predictability and simplification of patent system increased. After introduction of AIA only four conditions had to be specified for a patent to be valid:

▪     Sufficient differentiation from prior art.

▪     Sufficient disclosure to identify the claimed embodiements and enable them to be put to a specific practical and substantial use.

▪     Sufficient definiteness to differentiate subject manner.

▪     Sufficient concreteness to avoid excessively conceptual or otherwise abstract subject matter.

Key Point 5

With AIA United States of America harmonized with the whole world for the first to file system. This is the best practice considered by all the contracting states of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).

Key Point 6

The AIA is an attempt to be a codification of the way Congress wants the law, not a codification of what the law is. With new AIA the patent law doctrines were removed. With this the old legislation of US law i.e “apply as written” was changed. This is one of the most debated issue of AIA.

Key Point 7

The new AIA is for all, even for the person with least resources and capital available. AIA introduced a patent system for small inventors and universities who can now be grated patents easily in a less time and cheaply.