The America Invents Act is going to be changing many aspects of patent prosecution and litigation. I have divided it into four segments, patent strategy, patent prosecution, post-issue owner’s rights, and post-issue third party rights. Each change to the patent law will impact one or more areas.
These changes have been partially implemented, in September of last year. Another large group of changes will be coming in September of this year. The fee changes proposed by the Patent Office, which appear to be non-negotiable despite the many hearings held, are going to be implemented in February of next year. I will make a longer post about the fee changes, and their impact later. And finally, in March of 2013, the First to File or Disclose rules, and the associated other rules, will be coming into play. As you can see, the September 2012 changes will mostly impact third parties, starting the post-grant opposition, and other changes.
This graph is a summary of the changes, their timing and the segments which they primarily impact.