Senate Sends Patent Reform Bill to the White House

It only took 6 years, roughly the same time it takes many patent filers to navigate the USPTO. Nevertheless, a new chapter in U.S Patent law begins in a matter of days

Yesterday the Senate overwhelming endorsed the House version of the patent reform legislation known as the “Leahy-Smith America Invents Act” by a vote of 89-9. As discussed previously, while there were last minute amendment efforts, the Senate voted down all efforts to modify the legislation. Shortly thereafter President Obama addressed the nation identifying the passage of the legislation as “action we need.”

So, now what?   The bill will now be forwarded on the White House for signature, upon which the law is officially enacted. The day of enactment is important as some major changes to patent reexamination practices will become effective immediately. Likewise, on the 1 year anniversary of the date of enactment remaining provisions become effective.

The bill will now need to be formalized and enrolled for executive signature. It is difficult to estimate the exact day the bill will be signed, but I would expect enactment within 7-10 days.