On September 6, 2011, in its second item of business after its August break, the United States Senate approved a procedural motion to invoke “cloture” on the House patent reform bill (HR 1249). This vote spares patent reform from any filibuster, prevents the introduction of new amendments, and sets a 30-hour limit on further debate. The Senate is expected to schedule final debate and vote on the bill very soon.
The next step is to reconcile the differences with the Senate version approved in March (S. 23). Perhaps the most significant difference relates to USPTO funding. The House version passed with a “compromise” on the anti-fee diversion provision which many USPTO supporters will find unacceptable. Although the House bill provides for USPTO user fees to be deposited into a separate fund, the USPTO’s spending authority still would be limited by Congressional appropriations. The House version also includes various provisions with no corresponding terms in the Senate version, which may or may not fall out of any final legislation.
While Patent Reform has at least one more hurdle to clear, it is getting closer and closer to the finish line.
I’m still not writing about patent reform—really, I’m not! But on March 30, 2011, the House Judiciary Committee introduced its own version of a patent reform bill. Like the bill passed on March 8 in the Senate (S.23), it is called the America Invents Act.
Foley & Lardner LLP has issued a Legal News Alert on the House bill, highlighting some differences vis-a-vis the Senate version.
While the introduction of the House bill increases the chance that patent reform will become a reality this year, it is still far from certain whether it will happen and what the final provisions will look like.
I’m still not writing about patent reform—really, I’m not! But on March 8, 2011, the Senate passed its patent reform bill, the America Invents Act (S.23), and on March 9, 2011, Foley & Lardner LLP issued a Legal News Alert highlighting key provisions. (If you notice my name as an author on the Alert, it’s just a coincidence.)
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.