Implications of the America Invents Act for R&D managers: connecting the patent life cycle with the technology development process

W. Austin Spivey, J. Michael Munson, Bernd Wurth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Protecting intellectual property is crucial for R&D managers. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), which overhauled the US patent system in order to reduce litigation and bring US patent practices into line with interna- tional systems, offers new opportunities and challenges in this arena. AIA focuses on improving efficiency, increasing trans- parency, and harmonizing with other national patent regimes. In pursuit of these aims, the law introduced several key changes: eliminating the requirement for “best mode” disclosure, expanding the definition of prior art, moving from first- to-invent to first-to-file as the key criteria for patent eligibility, and adding post-grant review, among others. Using two fa- miliar frameworks, the patent life cycle and the Stage-Gate model for new product development, the paper explores how AIA impacts R&D managers’ considerations around intellectual property. The law comes with added risks for R&D manag- ers, who now must evaluate the commercial potential of innovation much earlier (with a larger set of stakeholders), while maintaining more secrecy than was required under the old regime. The demands of AIA require that R&D managers be- come more important members of the enterprise’s strategic team.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalResearch-Technology Management
Volume57
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014

Keywords

  • America Invents Act
  • intellectual property
  • patents
  • patent life cycle

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