One of the driving concerns for Congress when drafting the America Invents Act of 2012 (AIA) was the lack of an efficient, cost-effective means of challenging patents of dubious validity. As demonstrated by the recent GAO report on patent litigation, patent quality is at the heart of many issues affecting infringement litigation, such as the increase in suits brought by non-practicing entities.
Through the AIA, Congress addressed patent quality by introducing new post-grant procedures that provide for a quicker and cheaper means of assessing patent validity than reexamination or civil litigation. There are also safeguards in place to prevent the harassment of patent owners. In this post, I will look at how the new post-grant review procedures provide for a speedier, cost-effective process for challenging patent validity. This is accomplished through several key requirements of the AIA post-grant procedures: