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Posts Tagged ‘ Congress ’

Reshaping U.S. Patent Law. Who are the Winners & Losers?

Posted: Thursday, Sep 22, 2011 @ 7:15 am | Written by Manus Cooney | 5 comments
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Posted in: America Invents Act, Congress, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Reform, Patents

Senator Leahy (left) and Congressman Smith (left) at AIA signing.

The America Invents Act reshapes U.S. patent law in fairly profound ways with established major industries benefitting, but providing unwanted challenges for some. The final bill changes the US system to a first-inventor-to-file system. It creates several post-grant review mechanisms whereby 3rd parties can challenge another’s patent application, including the allowance of submission of prior art by 3rd parties and the creation of a new, post-grant administrative review proceeding. The financial sector will get additional tools to address long-held concerns over “business method” patents such as those at that heart of litigation involving several large banks and a company which holds patents on processes for securing checks electronically. The AIA also effectively bans the practice of patenting tax strategies. The bill also restricts the practice of plaintiffs in infringement cases joining together large groups of defendants who may have no business relation to each other.



As Predicted, Congress Ready to Divert More Fees from USPTO

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011 @ 4:51 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 6 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Reform, Patents, USPTO

The ink is hardly dry on the America Invents Act and Congress is already about to take money from the United States Patent and Trademark Office in violation of the promise of Congressman Rogers, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee.

It isn’t exactly a newflash to announce that Washington, D.C. is dysfunctional, anyone paying attention over the past few years has long since come to that conclusion.  Thus, it is hardly breaking news to report that Congress is on the verge of passing a Continuing Resolution rather than actually doing their job and passing a budget for fiscal year 2012.  Why do today what is required of you to fulfill the responsibilities of your job when you can just kick the can down the road?  Of course, by so doing Congress will embark upon a path that will divert some $600 million from the USPTO during FY 2012.



America Invents: Lies, Damn Lies and Legislative History

Posted: Friday, Sep 9, 2011 @ 6:03 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 76 comments
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Posted in: America Invents Act, Congress, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Reform, Patents, USPTO

The United States Senate passed the America Invents Act by a vote of 89-9 on September 8, 2011, which means that the much anticipated, discussed, reviled and acclaimed legislation (depending on your viewpoint) will become law very soon.  According to Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, the President has 10 days to sign the legislation or it would become  law without his signature.

Article I, Section 7, in relevant part reads:

If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days  (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same  shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the  Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it  shall not be a Law.

Thus, the question about when the America Invents Act will become the law of the land depends specifically on when it will be “presented to” President Obama.  As of the writing of this articler there is nothing on the White House web page of pending legislation likely to be signed in the coming days. Since the Administration has been so vocally supportive of the bill an Obama signature seems virtually guaranteed in the coming days, and then the fun starts.



Dear Mr. President, Are You Listening?

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 7, 2011 @ 11:03 pm | Written by Henry R. Nothhaft | 2 comments
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Posted in: Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, US Economy

What should you expect from President Obama’s jobs speech tomorrow? Sadly, not much.

The president says that’s the fault of recalcitrant Republicans in Congress. Republicans in Congress say it’s the fault of a president who is hostile to business.

But the real reason we are not putting people back to work three long years into the recession is that Washington is afflicted with a totally-bipartisan cluelessness about how to create jobs.

As I argued in my “Labor Day Message for President Obama” in the Wall Street Journal last weekend, there is a great deal that the president and congress can do to create millions of new jobs quickly, if only they would stop their ideological bickering and instead “focus on a few practical, low-cost measures that we know will create lots of jobs quickly.”



Senate Votes 93-5 to End Debate on Patent Reform, Vote Imminent

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 6, 2011 @ 7:22 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 19 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Reform, Patents, USPTO

The United States Senate voted 93 to 5 earlier this evening to end debate on patent reform, which should set up a vote on H.R. 1249 in the coming days.

The United States Senate first passed its own version of patent reform, dubbed the America Invents Act – S. 23, in February 2011. The House of Representatives took up patent reform in the Spring, ultimately passing H.R. 1249, also dubbed the America Invents Act. Because the House version of patent reform was not identical to the Senate version of patent reform the legislation pinged back to the Senate. Immediately before the Senate went out on its annual August recess Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed for cloture on H.R. 1249, scheduling the Senate’s first day back after the August recess as the day for the cloture vote. That cloture vote is what passed by a vote of 93-5.



Patent Reform: Post Grant Review Musings

Posted: Sunday, Sep 4, 2011 @ 4:01 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 23 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Reform, Patents, Reissue & Reexamination

USPTO Headquarters, Alexandria, Virginia

Once upon a time I used to not get worked up at all about proposals for patent reform, because after all they almost always didn’t seem to go through, or even if they did what was passed was hardly what was suggested.  Then, my good friend John White told me about six years ago that this time patent reform was going to happen, it was just a matter of time.  Since then I have written numerous articles on proposed patent legislation, followed the issue, reviewed transcripts from Congressional hearings and have watched multiple Congressional hearings streaming online, even while on vacation one year.  The end result is that not much has changed… at least not yet.

We have heard this all before, and to some extent it does sound a little like a “chicken little mentality” has captured the imagination of policy wonks and patent attorneys alike, but it is hard to deny the fact that there is growing momentum for real reform at the United States Patent Office.  Sadly, what the United States Senate will vote on Tuesday, September 6, 2011, does not represent that real reform that so many are hoping for.



Is it too late on Patent Reform?

Posted: Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 @ 4:43 pm | Written by John White | 17 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, John White, Patent Reform, Patents

Occasionally, when we’re on the road, Gene and I take up the chance to speak at law and corporate clients of either of us or PLI. These talks can be free ranging, sometimes CLE, sometimes just patent focused topics of interest. Recently we gave a talk in Chicago on the likely and looming patent reform to a group of practitioners; the only question when we wrapped: is it too late?

For reasons that are not very clear, patent practitioners have been largely mute in the reform debate. Maybe we thought it would never happen, or maybe we thought it would never include some of the crazy ideas and language that was being bandied about. Oops. Wrong on both counts. So, now what?



Patent Reform Back to Senate After Labor Day

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 3, 2011 @ 11:38 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 14 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Reform, Patents, USPTO

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

Yesterday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R.1249, the Patent Reform bill passed  by the House of Representatives by a vote of 304 – 117 on June 23, 2011.  By unanimous consent, the cloture vote for H.R. 1249 will occur on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.

What is cloture?  Cloture is the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter, and thereby overcome a filibuster. Under the cloture rule (Rule XXII), the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by vote of three-fifths of the full Senate, normally 60 votes.  Without 60 votes cloture fails and debate continues.  Unfortunately for those who would like to see patent reform derailed, the fact that there was unanimous consent in the Senate for a cloture vote almost certainly suggests that there will be at least 60 votes to end debate on H.R. 1249, which will bring it to a vote, likely sometime later in the week of September 6.