The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), signed into law on September 16, 2011, brings landmark changes to U.S. patent law, including expanding the options available for challenging a patent after it has been granted. Among these expanded options are the establishment of post-grant review proceedings, special transitional post-grant review of business method patents, and supplemental examination. The new options available under the AIA provide strategic opportunities for patentees and third-party challengers alike. These changes will be especially significant for patent litigants as the legislation may change the venue for patent validity challenges from district courts to the PTO, automatically stay some disputes, and place time limits on their initiation. The new law raises a variety of strategic questions for both patentees and those seeking to bring new products to the market:
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