Patent Legislation Reform & The America Invents Act of 2011

Dr. Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. has seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the US patent system up close and personal in his career as an inventor and through lengthy and complex litigations which arose licensing them to business partners. Michelson wants to see the US patent system improve for the benefit of all independent inventors, the American economy and to promote job growth.

Michelson was an instrumental part of developing and implementing key aspects of the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011. This law represents the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952. It was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011.
  • "Fast track" option allows patent processing w/in 12 Months

    The Patent and Trademark Office now offers startup/growing companies the opportunity of having important patents reviewed in 1/3 of the time, with a guaranteed 12 month turnaround time, instead of the previous average wait time of almost three years.

  • Resources to reduce the patent backlog

    The patent backlog has reduced from over 750,000 patent applications to 680,000 under President Obama, despite a 4% filing increase. Increased resources provided by this law allows the Patent and Trademark Office to continue reduction of ~700,000 patent application backlogs and significantly reduces associated wait times.

  • New options to reduce & avoid litigation

    The Patent & Trademark Office offers entrepreneurs avenues to avoid patent validity litigation, at significantly less cost than traditional court expenses.

  • Improving patent quality

    Improved quality management processes within the Patent and Trademark Office increases quality of the examinations, including establishing guidelines to clarify and specify enhanced standards for patent issuance. Provides tools and resources to improve patent quality & enables challenges to patents resolution through expedited post-grant processes, available in-house.
  • Increased ability of American Inventors to protect IP abroad

    The Patent and Trademark Office law harmonizes the American patent process with the rest of the world to make it predictable, efficient, and easier for entrepreneurs market products in both the U.S. and abroad. Increased work-sharing among patent offices around the world for applicants seeking protection in multiple jurisdictions increases efficiency and speeds up processing.
  • Additional Initiatives to Move Ideas from Lab to Market:

    ● Creation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) center to assist biotech entrepreneurs
    ● Development of a National Bioeconomy Blueprint
    ● University Presidents Commit to Commercialization Initiative
    ● Coulter Foundation and NSF Launch a University Commercialization Prize with AAAS
    ● Developing University Endowments Focused on Lab to Market Innovations
    ● Help, Tools and License Agreements for Start-Ups and Small Businesses (incl. “micro entity” filing fees)

Read some of the letters and legislative recommendations which helped to shape modern day patent and intellectual property legislation

Dr. Gary K. Michelson's letter supporting the America Invents Act and the US Patent & Trademark Office.

2010 Letter
Supporting reform to the United States Patent & Trademark Office [USPTO]

Orthopedic surgeon and inventor Dr. Gary K. Michelson, who has had a prolific career with over 950 medical patents to his name, lent his support to the America Invents Act, which aims to support start-ups, protect small businesses, and curb the rampant abuses of patent trolls. The legislation was eventually signed into law under President Barack Obama, in a ceremony which Dr. Michelson attended.

2013 Letter
U.S. Start-Ups and Inventors for Jobs [USIJ]
Protecting Small Businesses & Promoting Innovation by Limiting Patent Troll Abuse

A letter signed by Dr. Gary K. Michelson and others to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the America Invents Act, which was eventually signed into law. Dr. Michelson, an advocate of intellectual property reform and education, supported the bill because of his view that it would help out start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses, while curtailing the abuses of patent trolls.

2013 Letter
Reccomendations to S.1720 Patent Transparency and Improvement Act &.1013 Patent Abuse Reduction Act

Legislation to was sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Orrin Hatch and was cosponsored by a dozen other Senators

Senator Patrick Leahy

Senator Patrick Leahy

Senator Chuck Grassley

Senator Chuck Grassley

Senator Orrin Hatch

Senator Orrin Hatch


Image Credit


  1. Gary K. Michelson Profile [Linkedin]
  2. Michelson Technology at Work [Medtronic]
  3. S.23 – America Invents Act [112th Congress, 2011-2012.]