Obama signs 1st major patent law change since 1952

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- President Barack Obama has signed into law an overhaul of the nation's patent system. It's the first significant change in the way inventors can bring their products to market in more than two generations.

The America Invents Act, passed in a rare display of congressional bipartisanship, was hailed as a milestone that would spur innovation and create jobs. The last substantial change in patent law occurred in 1952.

The president signed the bill Friday after touring Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va.

The law aims to streamline the patent process, reduce costly legal battles and give the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office money to process applications faster. It was backed by companies including Google and Apple as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.