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New patent law could change how academics commercialize discoveries

from Science Magazine

The first major overhaul of the U.S. patent system in nearly 60 years is about to become law. The U.S. Senate voted 89-9 to approve the American Invents Act (H.R. 1249), ending a 6-year battle over how best to reform a patent system beset by increasing delays and costly litigation. Although many major universities and large research-driven companies lobbied for the extensive reform package, some analysts worry it could complicate efforts by academic scientists and smaller startup companies to commercialize their discoveries. The legislation, which the House of Representatives approved overwhelmingly in March, "will enable U.S. inventors at universities and elsewhere to compete more effectively in the global marketplace," said a statement from six major university groups, including the Association of American Universities, Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Association of University Technology Managers. They predict it will "improve patent quality and reduce patent litigation costs." more

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