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Abstract

The "Leahy-Smith America Invents Act" (America Invents Act) was enacted on September 16, 2011.1 The purpose of the Act was to provide greater harmony between the U.S. patent system and patent systems of our international trading partners.2 A patent gives an inventor a monopoly in the issuing country to make, use, and sell the invention for a limited term in exchange for the disclosure of how to make and use the invention. In the United States, the granting of monopolies for limited terms is justified mainly on utilitarian grounds. The patent system is seen as the best way to incentivize innovation and the disclosure of innovative secrets.3 In Europe, patents are mostly justi- fied on natural rights grounds. Inventors are seen as having a natural property right in their ideas, and a patent is seen as a deserved reward for the work of the inventor.

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