''The Senate approved the first major overhaul of the United States patent system in nearly 60 years, voting 89-9 on Thursday evening to send the America Invents Act to President Obama.
The bill changes the U.S. patent system by altering the Patent and Trademark Office’s fee system and creating a "first-to-file" system, under which patents would be awarded to the first person to file an application. It also creates new systems for challenging patents.
The Senate voted to retain language that critics said was designed to benefit a single pharmaceutical company, as well as a provision aimed at helping banks reduce lawsuits against them. The Senate also voted to leave in compromise language that gives Congress some control over patent application fees.''