The Changing Face of US Patent Law and its Impact on Business Strategy

The Changing Face of US Patent Law and its Impact on Business Strategy

New Horizons in International Business series

Edited by Daniel R. Cahoy and Lynda J. Oswald

Within the complex global economy, patents function as indispensable tools for fostering and protecting innovation. This fascinating volume offers a comprehensive perspective on the US patent system, detailing its many uses and outlining several critical legislative, administrative and judicial reforms that impact business strategy.

Chapter 3: The America Invents Act, patent priority, and supplemental examination

Robert C. Bird

Subjects: business and management, international business

Extract

Patent reform in the United States has been long overdue. Ignored decades ago as an obscure backwater of the law, the advancement of patent law was not seen as an important initiative. As recently as the late 1970s, patent law was perceived as weak, ineffective and unable to keep pace with rapid technological changes (Rooklidge & Barker, 2009, p. 154). Until the previous year, the most recent significant substantive amendment by Congress was the Patent Act of 1952 (Patent Act, 1952). That perception has now fully matured into a rich and robust understanding of the value of intellectual assets. The competitive advantage of new technological innovations relies heavily on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Patent law enforcement was no longer a technicality left to lawyer-scientists, but developed into a high-stakes game of corporate survival.

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