Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1249, commonly known as the America Invents Act, which seeks to reform the U.S. patent system.  The bill recieved bipartisan support, with over 70% of the House voting in favor.  Notable provisions of this bill include:

  1. moving from a “first-to-invent” system to a “first-to-file” system
  2. prior user rights
  3. fees collected by the US Patent & Trademark Office will be allocated by an Appropriations committee

H.R. 1249 is similar to a companion bill previously passed by the Senate (S. 23), although it does provide some differences.  It will now be sent to the Senate for approval or further amending before going to the President.