The US House of Representatives endorsed an amended version of the Patent Reform Act, which carried the most sweeping changes in the past 50 years, including elevation of patent grant threshold and significant downsizing of damages awarded to patent holders who win infringement cases.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers described the current patent system as inefficient, bogged down by inappropriate litigation rules, unreliably funded, and resulting in patents of "questionable quality". The bill would make it harder to secure a patent and easier for rivals to challenge one, and it would change how courts determine an infringed patent's value."
The US is the only country in the world using "first-to-invent practice". The bill would change the process to the "first to file", aligning it with the systems in use in Europe, Japan and China and ending the lingering problem of the current practice that the identity of an inventor can be hard to prove. The bill would also create a post-grant opposition proceeding, allowing third parties to challenge newly issued patents by furnishing evidences.
(China IP News)2013-07-17