Saturday, April 05, 2008

What variant of S.1145 will Reid put before the Senate?

Michael Collins, in an article at KnoxvilleBiz titled Concerns build over patent bill, states that Tennessee's two senators are undecided on the patent reform bill, S. 1145, in part because they do not know what the final form is:

Alexander and Corker haven't decided whether they will back the bill.

"Democratic Leader Reid has yet to reveal the final version of the patent reform bill he intends to bring to the Senate floor for debate," said Alexander spokesman Lee Pitts. "Sen. Alexander is waiting to see what that bill will include before making a decision.''

Corker said he has heard from Tennessee companies on both sides of the debate and noted that the hang-up appears to be over the issue of damages, "which is obviously a much different issue to a company built around one patent as opposed to a company that uses thousands of patents to produce or assemble their product."

The following statement by Senator Corker reminds one of an earlier statement by Senator Kennedy: "We've asked the stakeholders involved to resolve the damages issue, and I hope they will be able to do that and craft a compromise that can garner widespread support in the U.S. Senate," Corker said.

The Collins article delved into the issue of post-grant review (opposition):

"We invest heavily in research and development activities, and as you know, it's vitally important to us to have a patent system that provides protection, at the same time nurturing creative thinking, some scientific problem-solving and technology development," McCord of Eastman Chemical said.

The companies' concerns involve a new system that would be set up to challenge patents and another provision that would change the way damages are calculated in patent-infringement cases.

If the bill passes in its current form, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would have the authority to re-examine patents after they've been granted.

Many large technology firms argue the new post-grant review process is needed to challenge wrongfully issued patents rather than taking those disputes to the courts, which can be expensive and time consuming.

But other companies say such a systemwould seriously weaken the ability to protect patented technology and could make it difficult to ever really know if the patent they own is valid.

"It's going to be a heyday for anybody who wants to cut in on anybody else's technology," Gammons {vice president of Adroit Medical Systems in Loudon } said.

IPBiz notes that the viewpoints of the businesses Eastman Chemical and Adroit are completely distinct from those of patent law poseurs Bessen and Meurer.

In passing IPBiz notes the NBC Dateline special on 4 April 08 The Killing at Poplar River which illustrated the great weight which can be assigned to a (murder) confession (relative to evidence), and demonstrates a point of how difficult it can be to alter "first formed opinions."

In the patent reform saga, one wonders "how many" senators are going with first formed opinions, and "how many" will
have the time to carefully scrutinize the bill Senator Reid finally puts out.


Post a Comment

<< Home