Senate passes patent reform bill

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March 10, 2011 — The U.S. Senate recently passed a patent-reform bill that would establish a first-to-file patent system, replacing the first-to-invent system currently in place, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) reported this week.

Unlike past efforts at patent reform, the new legislation includes no language aimed at increasing opportunities for automotive parts manufacturers to obtain intellectual property from manufacturers, the ASA said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced the bill, called the America Invents Act. He said a revamp of the patent system is long overdue and necessary for the U.S. to remain competitive with China and the European Union.

“The last time Congress significantly updated the patent system was more than half a century ago,” Leahy said. “In the intervening decades, our economy has changed dramatically. A patent system developed for a 1952 economy—before the Internet, before cell phones, before computers, before photocopiers, even before the IBM Selectric typewriter—needs to be reconsidered in light of 21st century realities, while staying true to the consistent constitutional imperative of encouraging innovation and invention.”

To see more details on the bill, go to the ASA’s legislative website,

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