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Obama signs Patent Reform Act

New law will overhaul patent system

Last week, President Obama signed the Patent Reform Act into law. The administration says the new law will put an end false marking lawsuits, give the economy a boost and create jobs, and significantly speed up the patent application process.

“When Thomas Edison filed his patent for the phonograph, his application was approved in just seven weeks. And these days, that process is taking an average of three years,” President Obama said.

Earlier this month, the Senate voted 93-5 to move forward with the bill, which will ensure that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has the funding it needs to reduce its backlog of nearly 700,000 patent applications.

The bill also will update the law from a “first to invent” awarding system to a “first to file.”

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Cathleen Flahardy

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