Starting in 2011 and going through 2013, patent reforms within the America Invents Act (AIA) went into effect. As you already know, the AIA is the most significant legislative change to U.S. patent law since the Patent Act of 1952. The two most notable changes were adding fast-paced, multi-party “review” proceedings to challenge patents at the U.S. Patent Office (effective Sept. 12, 2012) and converting the U.S. Patent System from a “first to invent” system to a “first to file” system (effective Mar. 16, 2013). That first round of patent reform was many years in the making. Patent reform bills were proposed in one or both houses of Congress every year between 2005 and 2011.
Many agree that U.S. patent reform finally passed, in part, because the most controversial provisions were removed. Detractors thought that those provisions would interfere with the natural development of case law in federal courts and to extricate power from the judiciary. The most controversial provisions sought major changes in patent litigation in U.S. district courts. Among other things, the provisions sought to make changes in pleading requirements, substantially limit patent infringement damages, require interlocutory review of claim construction, and greatly restrict patent venue.