Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, Public Law 112-29

Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, Public Law 112-29
Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, Public Law 112-29
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Public Law 112-29. H.R. 1249.

The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. The law represents the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952, and closely resembles previously proposed legislation in the Senate in its previous session (Patent Reform Act of 2009).

Named for its lead sponsors, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the Act switches the U.S. patent system from a "first to invent" to a "first inventor to file" system, eliminates interference proceedings, and develops post-grant opposition. Its central provisions went into effect on September 16, 2012 and on March 16, 2013.

Table of Contents

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An Act to amend title 35, United States Code, to provide for patent reform.

(a) SHORT TITLE.—This Act may be cited as the “Leahy–Smith America Invents Act”.

(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS.—The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

SEC. 1. Short title; table of contents.
SEC. 2. Definitions.
SEC. 3. First inventor to file.
SEC. 4. Inventor’s oath or declaration.
SEC. 5. Defense to infringement based on prior commercial use.
SEC. 6. Post–grant review proceedings.
SEC. 7. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
SEC. 8. Preissuance submissions by third parties.
SEC. 9. Venue.
SEC. 10. Fee setting authority.
SEC. 11. Fees for patent services.
SEC. 12. Supplemental examination.
SEC. 13. Funding agreements.
SEC. 14. Tax strategies deemed within the prior art.
SEC. 15. Best mode requirement.
SEC. 16. Marking.
SEC. 17. Advice of counsel.
SEC. 18. Transitional program for covered business method patents.
SEC. 19. Jurisdiction and procedural matters.
SEC. 20. Technical amendments.
SEC. 21. Travel expenses and payment of administrative judges.
SEC. 22. Patent and Trademark Office funding.
SEC. 23. Satellite offices.
SEC. 24. Designation of Detroit satellite office.
SEC. 25. Priority examination for important technologies.
SEC. 26. Study on implementation.
SEC. 27. Study on genetic testing.
SEC. 28. Patent Ombudsman Program for small business concerns.
SEC. 29. Establishment of methods for studying the diversity of applicants.
SEC. 30. Sense of Congress.
SEC. 31. USPTO study on international patent protections for small businesses.
SEC. 32. Pro bono program.
SEC. 33. Limitation on issuance of patents.
SEC. 34. Study of patent litigation.
SEC. 35. Effective date.
SEC. 36. Budgetary effects.
SEC. 37. Calculation of 60–day period for application of patent term extension.


Law students, policy makers, and inventors would be interested to study the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.

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National Archives and Records Administration, Office of the Federal Register
Key Phrases:
  • Public Law 112 29
  • Patents
  • Inventions
  • Patent and Trademark Office
  • America Invents Act, Leahy Smith Act
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