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Rep. Judy Chu Declares Newly Signed Patent Reform Law Will Help Boost the U.S. Economy

September 16, 2011
Press Release

 WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA, celebrated the signing into law by President Obama of the America Invents Act (HR 1249) on September 16, 2011.  The America Invents Act reforms an outdated patent system that had not been touched for nearly 60 years.  Rep. Chu supported the legislation both as a Member of the Judiciary Committee and on the House Floor.

"At a time of record unemployment, and with three-quarters of our economic growth tied to American innovation and intellectual property, the need for such an overhaul has never been greater," said Rep. Chu.  "The current patent system is riddled with a backlog of more than 750,000 applications. This not only stifles innovation, but it also negatively impacts the growth of our economy."

"Now that the President has signed this new law, we have made it easier for innovators to produce new technologies that drive economic growth and create jobs," continued Rep. Chu.

"The America Invents Act simplifies our patent system, provides patent certainty, and protects legitimate patents.  I applaud the President, as well as my colleagues in the House and Senate, for their support of this bill."

This new law changes the U.S. from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file patent system, creates a post-grant review system to weed out low-quality patents, and helps the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) address the backlog of patent applications.

Also included in the America Invents Act is an amendment authored by Rep. Chu, which would help small businesses and independent inventors navigate the patent process by encouraging the Patent Office to help establish pro bono programs to help independent inventors.  Independent inventors suffer the most from this backlog since they do not have large financial resources to afford the expenses associated with the patent process.

The America Invents Act, a vital piece of legislation in President Obama's jobs initiative, is the first "Make It in America" bill to become law this year.  The Make It In America plan is a legislative program designed to enable American business to stay here, develop here, and create more products here that will eventually be sold to the world.