Thursday, September 13, 2007

Are opponents of HR 1908 circling the wagons for a Senate battle?

In February 2007, techliberation had a post including the text:

Legislation to overhaul aspects of the patent system could take shape in as few as two or three weeks, said Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and the Internet.

“This is an issue that doesn’t break down on partisan grounds,” said Berman, adding that the technology sector’s desire to seek changes in patent laws has “created a groundswell, a strong momentum for reform, to make it the highest priority of our subcommittee.”

Berman, who was speaking at the Tech Policy Summit here, said that last Congress patent legislation died in a crossfire between the technology industry, which broadly supported changes, and the pharmaceutical industry, which opposed them. Berman said he had been pushing for changes since 2000.

Berman said the pharmaceutical industry relied on its strong ties to the Republican leadership to reject changes to patent law. “The order came from on high, not to move legislation. Rather than a mechanism to work through differences, essentially, it was a sham process, because the [Republican] leadership of the committee was told not to move the bill,” said Berman.

There is no word from techliberation on the question: Did Howard Berman strong arm opponents of his patent reform bill, HR 1908? including the issue:

Added another lobbyist who is working on the bill: "My understanding is Berman has been pulling people in individually and saying, 'This is very important, and you have other stuff in front of me.'"

See also

Harold Wegner has a post on IPFrontline: Patent Reform - The Likeliest Scenarios. Is the "vanishing act" of patent reform opponents in the House vote based on better opportunities in the Senate, as Wegner suggests in the text: Every effort is being undertaken by certain groups to block enactment in the Senate: For the bill to survive, a vote of 60 members (out of 100) will be necessary for cloture to permit a vote on the Senate floor on the merits of the legislation.

Way back in the beginning, remember Berman, H.R. 1908 and Leahy S. 1145 were the same.


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