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US Senate votes through patent reform bill

US Senate votes through patent reform bill

September 21, 2011

The US Senate seal

The United States government has all but signed off on patent reforms, according to TechEye.

The reforms, chief of which is a new first-to-file system that has caused controversy amongst inventors and engineers, have been in the pipeline for around six years, and many commentators in the patent world believed that the system needed to take a more flexible European and Asian approach.

The previous patent system favoured the rights of the inventor, where as the new system would allow companies or individuals to only need to beat others to the patent application process. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had previously expressed a wish to charge more for patent applications, claiming that the patent application process was not only too long but also too expensive for both the patentee and the USPTO.

Now that the Senate has voted through the reforms, the bill only needs to be signed off by President Obama.

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