Any inventor or innovator in Sacramento who has ever looked into the process of applying for a patent knows it's not exactly a quick process.
A few years ago, Sacramento readers probably heard about the Recording Industry Association of America going after people who were violating copyrights by sharing music on peer-to-peer networks like Kazaa and Napster.
Earlier this week, a former engineer for Motorola was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing information from her one-time employer. Her sentence is one of the harshest ever imposed in the U.S. for a crime such as hers. Her story should show all Sacramento readers that authorities don't take cases of industrial espionage lightly.
Sacramento readers may not have heard about an important piece of federal legislation that was passed last fall. Called the America Invents Act, it doesn't take effect until March. But when it does, it will shift our long-held "first to invent" system of granting patents to a "first to file" system.