United States patent law has traditionally authorized the grant of patent rights to the first to invent or to discover a patentable invention, subject to specified terms and conditions. But the America Invents Act replaced the "first-to-invent" system with the "first to file" system long enforced in England and in other countries by deleting or rewriting numerous references to priority of inventorship in the existing statutory sections concerning novelty and obviousness. Does this change rewrite core patent law fundamentals in this country and shift the balance among individual inventors, large corporations, and patent holding companies? What is the likely effect on innovation and development, the keys to a growing economy? Are the projected benefits worth the anticipated costs? Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, is the change Constitutional?


  • Prof. Richard A. Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Prof. F. Scott Kieff, Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School
  • Prof. David S. Olson, Assistant Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
  • Moderator: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society