September 09, 2011, 1:08 PM —
The headlines blare "major patent system overhaul" but the America Invents Act approved by the Senate on September 8 leaves the worst problems in place. The US Patent and Trademark Office can now set their own fees, and has changed to a "first to file" policy to match most other countries. Patent trolls weren't addressed.
Of course, now that we're in the election cycle, job growth was promised. Few expect patent reform today, even if it was real reform, to create any jobs next month. But political hype reigns for the next 14 months, so get ready.
Large companies like Intel, Apple, and Microsoft are cheering, as are groups like the Business Software Alliance (software piracy watchdog). This makes smaller companies and individuals, who have long benefited from patent protection, more than a little nervous.
Things are actively worse
My understanding that this is a bill promoted by big law firms to make more money and to protect financial industry against patent trolls. Also, 'first-inventor-to-file' is something which big companies were pushing anyway. We are doomed...
cHalgan on news.ycombinator.com
Wow, how utterly disappointing. I wish the contributions to PACs were more public, so we could track who gave what to who, and make it easy to compare that to voting records.
mlubrov on arstechnica.com
As someone who has seen invention at the individual, small business, and large corporation level, this bill saddens me. Regardless of other complications with the system, I was always proud that our country stuck up for those who invented first but filed later.
Newkleer on news.ycombinator.com
Did I miss something here? This sounds like the trolls will get even more power. This basically would make retroactive patenting of other people's inventions the norm
jimCA on arstechnica.com
Color me surprised....
Kronykus on arstechnica.com
Things are no different
Seems like investing in politicians is still a safe bet.
Dick Cheney (idnetity not confirmed) on arstechica.com
Your vote: This is A) an improvement to the current patent system, or B) bend over, here it comes again.