Major changes in U.S. patent law enacted by Congress this year, will mark a radically new shift in the landscape for the process of seeking and obtaining patent protection for innovations. To help independent inventors, small business, universities and their faculty and students better understand and prepare for the potential impact from these changes, the National Association of Small Business and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers sponsored a free conference in August at the University of California Washington Center located in Washington D.C.

This conference examined the effect that these new patent changes will have on inventor rights, university R&D, innovation and technology transfer, commercialization, patent litigation, and the sheer complexity of this new Patent Bill. Other topics included the challenges of implementing the American Invents Act, and other related information on pending laws and legislation, and for whom it will ultimately serve.

Read the background of this historic sea change in American innovation

Congress officially passed the America Invents Act on September 8, 2011. This much anticipated legislation represents sweeping changes made for the first time in over a half-century that will impact the future of intellectual property, university research and independent inventor rights. IP Advocate opposed many of its provisions. However, we are now focused on educating faculty and student researchers on its new policies and procedures so you can protect your intellectual property today. We have devoted a special section that chronicles the Road to Patent Reform that features expert commentary, news and resources to keep our community informed.

Read Patent Reform to learn about the American Invents Act

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