On November 30, Congressman Smith introduced a bill H.R. 6621 to change language in the America Invents Act (AIA).
Some refer to it as a "technical amendment" that corrects errors in the AIA. However, it buries a provision that will eliminate many if not all pre-GATT applications (i.e., about 200 applications filed before June 7, 1995) if they fail to issue as US patents within one year of the bill's enactment. It does this by rendering them ineligible for a patent term that runs 17 years from grant date. Instead their patent term would only run 20 years from filing date. Even if only 0.02% of all pending applications (e.g., 1.2M) are affected, it sounds like some want to eliminate or greatly reduce their patent terms. Do the math!
On the other hand, it doesn't seek to change the estoppel standard for post grant review, which is wise given the arguments raised in its favor. See e.g., Robert L. Stoll, Maintaining Post-Grant Review Estoppel in the America Invents Act: A Call for Legislative Restraint.
Copyright © 2012 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.