Thursday, April 26, 2007

Congressional hearing on April 26 on patent reform

BusinessWeek notes another Congressional hearing on patent reform will occur on April 26, with testimony from Kevin Sharer, chief executive of biotech company Amgen Inc.; Anthony Peterman, patent counsel for computer manufacturer Dell Inc.; and Gary Griswold, president and chief counsel of intellectual property at 3M Co.

Dell Inc. is a member of the Coalition for Patent Fairness, comprised mainly of IT companies strongly seeking patent reform (including, Apple, Autodesk, Business Software Alliance, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Dell, Electrolux, Financial Services Roundtable, Hewlett-Packard, Information Technology Industry Council, Intel, Micron Technology, Microsoft, Oracle, Palm, Inc., SAP, TechNet, Time Warner and Visa.) The Coalition for Patent Fairness was well-prepared for the introduction of the patent reform bill on April 18, 2007.

3M is a member of the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform, which includes some pharma companies (eg, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Hoffman-La Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Millennium Pharmaceuticals).

BusinessWeek noted that the Biotechnology Industry Organization [BIO] has expressed opposition to several aspects of the bill.

One notes that smaller entities are not represented at the April 26 hearing, with the manifest diversity along technology lines, rather than entity-size lines, even though aspects of the bill will have disparate impact according to entity size.


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