Main provisions of the Senate-passed patent bill

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 8, 2011; 6:43 PM

-- Main provisions of legislation passed Tuesday by the Senate to overhaul the patent system:

-Changes the patent application process from a first-inventor system to the first-inventor-to-file system that is used by all other industrialized nations in the world.

-Gives the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office authority to set fees so as to provide the resources needed to reduce the backlog of patent applications.

-Ends the practice of diverting fees paid to the patent office to other government spending.

-Allows third parties to submit information to challenge pending patents.

-Creates a "first-window" post-grant opposition period of nine months to weed out patents that should not have been issued.

-Establishes an administrative review process for challenging the validity of a patent, with a higher threshold for initiating a proceeding and the goal of reducing the litigation costs of drawn-out court challenges.

-Bans the issuing of patents for tax strategies.

© 2011 The Associated Press