The America Invents Act, which was fully implemented on March 16, 2013, represents the largest overhaul of the U.S. patent system in more than 50 years. Under the new law, the U.S. joins the rest of the world in awarding patents to the first inventor to file instead of the first to invent. The new law also broadens the definition of prior art, which may make securing patent protection more challenging in the future.

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