Thursday, June 23, 2011

House takes up patent reform at 10am on June 23, 2011

From The Hill:

The House meets at 10 a.m. for speeches and at noon to continue work on H.R. 1246 [sic: 1249], the America Invents Act.

Members on Thursday debated one of 15 amendments to the bill, which would substantially reform U.S. patent law. The remaining 14 are expected to be debated and voted on today.

Democrats on Wednesday said they worry that the bill would not ensure that patent fees collected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office stay in that office to help pay for more patent examiners. One amendment up today would eliminate language in the bill allowing the USPTO to set fees.

Others seek to eliminate or delay the move to a "first-inventor-to-file" patent system. Members on Wednesday night debated the constitutionality of such a system.

**Note Dave Boundy's comment at IPWatchdog:

Compare Rogers’ language today to the language of current statute — all but identical. The bill has no more protection against fee diversion (in the sense of fees not available to the PTO) than current statute.

No, Gene, the bill isn’t dying because of lack of commitment, but because it’s a dumb bill, a special-interest Christmas tree, and contrary to the interests of the public good.

And House Democrats are leading the charge on exposing this trickery. Of course, remember the famous Lofgren-Kappos exchange.


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