As many of you may have learned during tonight’s Joint Session of Congress to address the proposed American Jobs Act, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (H.R. 1249) has passed the Senate as expected. The Act is slated to become a law as soon as President Obama signs it.

The act was passed earlier in the Senate and another version in the House earlier but the differences in the versions passed sent the act back to the Senate and it passed after the Senate came back from the anual recess in August.

Commentators differ in opinion of whether or not this represents a dramatic change in the Patent Law, or is simply rhetoric. Case in point, legislators suggested that this act would create 200,000 new jobs.

Well known blog PatentlyO perhaps said it best:

“To be patentable, an invention must still be new, useful, and fit within one of the statutory classifications. The primary difference on that front will be that the inventor’s pre-filing activity becomes even less important and third-party activity just prior to the filing date becomes more important. Innovative companies will need to rethink filing strategies to fit the new rules, but this will not normally be CEO level strategic rethinking – but instead general counsel and chief patent counsel planning. The law of patentability will be more complicated and unstable for the next decade as we go through the transition, but the dust will settle and the patent system will remain.”