Over the next two years, the patent reform bill President Barack Obama signed into law in September will overhaul basic legal tenets that go back to the Founding Fathers and have shaped U.S. technological innovation for more than 200 years.
Patents, along with copyrights, are singled out in the U.S. Constitution as deserving of special protection. Even though the rules that govern the transformation of ideas into intellectual property have changed from time to time — the last significant alteration was in 1952 — U.S. patent ownership has always centered on the inventor.
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