Jun 20, 2011 10:24 PM by Jeannette Hynes
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House is moving toward a vote on the most significant overhaul of the patent system in decades after Republicans agreed on how to fund the U.S. Patent Office so it can cope with patent applications taking at least three years to process.
The agreement sets up a reserve fund to ensure that the agency has access to the user fees it collects from applicants. At the same time, the deal gives lawmakers concerned about ceding authority more review of how the money is used.
The House measure would switch the United States from the "first-to-invent" system now in effect to the "first-inventor-to file" system for patent applications used by all other industrialized countries. It is expected to reach the House floor on Wednesday.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)