Friday, March 04, 2011

Vote on amended S.23 won't happen till next week (maybe)

The Hill wrote late on March 3:

The patent bill has been pending before the upper chamber since Monday, as senators have attempted to alter it with amendments. Controversy over a budget extension bill and other amendments that were not germane to the underlying bill have, in part, slowed progress on the legislation.

Now that Reid has filed cloture on the bill, it must ripen for one legislative day and one hour before the entire body can vote on whether to bring the bill into a 30-hour period of final debate prior to a vote on passage.

In the preliminary vote, which could occur in the middle of next week, the bill must clear a 60-vote threshold. Floor manager for the bill, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), said he hoped the bill would be passed by Thursday afternoon of next week.

Votes on further amendments could occur throughout next week. The first vote will occur at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

The real issue is whether fee diversion will stop AND whether the USPTO can do something useful with the money it would get to keep. First-to-file and post-grant review are not the important issues, but they will have adverse impacts on those inventors who don't have a lot of money to file frequently or to defend frequently.


Blogger Gena said...

Feinstein herself expected her FTF amendment to fail. It is perhaps a reasonable enough compromise in order to gain a patent reform bill that contains the Manager's Amendment clause ending fee diversion and the clause granting the USPTO fee-setting authority. The inclusion of these two provisions is almost enough to neutralize my criticisms of the proposed bill -- another main point of hesitation being the new bill's curtailing of the traditional "grace period" allowed to inventors.

4:45 PM  

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