On September 8, 2011, the Senate passed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act ("AIA"), without amendments to the version passed by the House. The passage of this landmark patent reform bill sets the stage for President Obama to sign into law the first major overhaul of the US patent system since 1952. The bill attempts to provide clarity to the statute, encourage inventors to file patent applications as early as possible in the US Patent & Trademark Office ("USPTO"), promote and increase manufacturing in the United States and, ultimately, benefit the US economy. Unless stated below, the new laws will take effect 18 months after enactment and will apply to any application or patent with an effective filing date after that time.
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