Major patent “reform” has passed both houses of Congress, presumably the President will sign shortly. This is called the “America Invents Act,” apparently has as much relevance to invention as the Patriot Act has to patriotism. But dictionary.com tells me that “invent” has two meanings:
1. to create or devise (new ideas, machines, etc)
2. to make up (falsehoods); fabricate
Perhaps the second is what’s intended here.
From what I read, the big news is a switch of priority from “first to invent” to “first to file,” which seems to indicate that skill at patent lawyering now is officially recognized as more important than skill at inventing.
Better news, according to Vaughn Henry, is that tax strategies will no longer be patentable. 150 existing patents are grandmothered in, however. (Information from Henry’s blog here, you need to join, free, to see it, or perhaps it is somewhere on his site. )