Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stick a fork in it: patent reform 2008 is done

CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, in an April 11 story, Patent reform hits wall in Senate, begins:

A bill to reform U.S. patent law, which split the business community and sparked a fierce lobbying battle, hit a roadblock late Thursday in the Senate and may not move forward this year.

Rugaber's quotes of Leahy suggest S.1145 is gone for now:

But Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., sponsor of the legislation, said that "just a handful of words" have stalled debate on the bill, which is unlikely to be revived in an election year, especially with Congress focused on the ailing economy.

"Thousands of hours have been spent in negotiations to address the concerns of 100 Senators, hundreds of Representatives, and dozens of stakeholders," Leahy said. "This was a missed opportunity."

Further, a quote of a Leahy aide also suggests S.1145 is gone for now:

An aide to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, said, "We don't like to close the door on anything. But it's unclear when it will come up in the future."

Among other things, this outcome suggests Barack Obama's position on patent reform is not a consensus, mainstream position, but rather is one aligned with one lobbying group over another lobbying group.

Some other text of Rugaber is worthing mentioning:

But opposition mounted last year, as pharmaceutical and biotech companies were joined by venture capital firms, individual inventors, and unions, who argued the reforms would weaken patent protection and make it harder to bring new products to market. [IPBiz universities NOT mentioned!]

The House and Senate reform bills would have allowed more information to be presented to patent examiners, created more opportunities to review patents after they are issued, and sought to tie damages awarded in infringement cases more closely to the innovation represented by the patent. [IPBiz: interesting ordering, and interesting omissions. No mention of substantive rulemaking authority; without this, some variant of Tafas v. Dudas will likely survive CAFC and 2+1 and 5/25 are, for the moment, bad dreams. At least Rugaber (indirectly) acknowledged that post-grant review [PGR] would have been an opportunity to review, in addition to re-examination.]

A report at money/cnn reached similar conclusions:

Talks between lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary panel about a wide-ranging attempt to overhaul the country's patent laws broke down this week, leaving many to conclude the bill has little chance of becoming law this year.


Post a Comment

<< Home