President Barack Obama will sign the America Invents Act Friday, a package of changes to the U.S. patent system that administration officials insist will spur the economy and job creation and speed lifesaving medical breakthroughs.
The AIA is the most dramatic reform to the patent system since the Patent Act of 1952. On a press call for reporters previewing the bill's signing, David Kappos, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, went even farther.
"It's all about the leadership that we've gotten from this president," Kappos said. "This is the biggest change to the U.S. patent system since 1837."
The act passed in the House in June and in the Senate last week.
"Passage of America Invents Act is a tremendous down payment on the aggressive jobs agenda that President Obama has laid out," Kappos said. "It will enable us to speed the delivery of patents into the marketplace and therefore enable us to speed the delivery of innovative goods and services to the marketplace."
Jason Furman, deputy director of the National Economic Council, also outlined additional incentives for innovation that will accompany the patent reform.
"The National Institutes of Health is going to launch a new center to help companies reduce the time and cost to develop new lifesaving drugs, making it easier for start-ups to commercialize the biomedical inventions made my NIH and FDA researchers," Furman said.
A new prize, presented by the National Science Foundation and the Coulter Foundation, will also be announced today. The prize will be awarded to one of the 140 universities partnering with the White House. The university that makes the most progress using innovation to spur economic and job growth will win the prize, Furman said.
The Patent and Trademark Office will directly be a part of the economic growth, the officials said, not just by speeding up and simplifying the patent examination process to create new jobs and products. The office itself also expects to hire between 1,500 and 2,000 new patent examiners to catch up with the backlog of patents, and around 100 administrative law judges.
The president is scheduled to sign the America Invents Act Friday morning.