You may have heard that Senator Leahy (D-VT) introduced a patent reform bill (S.23) into the Senate last week, starting the patent reform ball rolling for the 112th Congress. Of course I think that patent reform is an important issue. I will read every word and provide an in-depth analysis when and if any patent reform is enacted, but I’m not going to write about it now.

I have been following patent reform since 2007, and after hearing commentators say that “this is the year” year after year after year, my expectations that a final bill ever will be agreed upon and passed have waned.

If you are interested in the specifics of S.23, my colleagues have prepared a nice synopsis in this Foley Legal News Alert. As summarized there:

[T]he Patent Reform Act of 2011 is largely similar to the proposed legislation announced last year. If passed, the bill will make significant changes to the U.S. patent system, but it remains to be seen whether this year’s version will meet with more success than those in prior years. While the Senate bill puts the Manager’s Amendment in play on the Senate side, the next step is up to the House, which may have its own ideas on patent reform.