Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What's really going to happen with S.515's version of patent reform

In a piece titled Big Tech Can't Get Its Way in D.C., the Recorder tries to explain what happened with S.515, and what might happen in the House:

Much smaller changes have also shifted the ground. Sessions' general counsel, Joe Matal, has given renewed vigor to the project. At the same time, Leahy lost his key patent counsel, Susan Davies, to the White House. Davies had worked on the project for years and had also been receptive to the big tech point of view.

Big tech is now leaning on the House to sink or change the bill. And they do have a much friendlier audience there. Representative Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, has pushed big tech's version of patent reform on the House Judiciary committee for her constituents and donors. And it appears that she's got the chairman of House Judicary, John Conyers, D-Mich., and the ranking Republican, Lamar Smith, R-Texas, on board. The three released a statement about the Senate bill saying: "We believe a number of changes are essential before it could be considered by the House."

Additionally, IBM is a big employer in Leahy's state of Vermont and was not opposing the S.515 compromise. As the article put it: "Chairman Leahy and others would have been hesitant moving forward had there been no support from the high tech sector; that is not the case." Of course, IBM was a big employer in Fishkill, NY and is a big employer in India.

So, for all the hoopla, amended S.515 is not going to become a law anytime soon.

See also
Carlson says "Scrap the patent reform bill"


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