WASHINGTON, March 1, 2011 - The Senate moved a step closer to the first major overhaul to the patent system in nearly 60 years when it introduced a bill to the floor on Monday.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-WV), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, introduced the Patent Reform Act of 2011 in January, garnered by bipartisan support from cosponsors such as Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Al Franken (D-MN), and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). The Judiciary Committee voted 15-0 to pass the bill to the full Senate earlier last month.
One of the largest changes the bill would institute if it becomes law is switching the U.S. from a First-to-Invent system to a First-to-File system. In the former, only the original inventor of a device or process may rightfully file for patent protection. The First-to-File system, however, grants protection to the first inventor that brings a prosecutable claim to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The change would being the U.S. into harmony with the great majority of global patent systems, which rely on First-to-File.
"We need to reform our patent system so that... innovations can more quickly get to market," said Sen. Leahy during his opening statement. "A modernized patent system – one that puts American entrepreneurs on the same playing field as those throughout the world – is a key to that success."
Other provisions of the bill would institute procedural changes intended to reign in damages and expand third-party challenges to patents through the USPTO.
The push is the latest effort in revising the patent system after efforts in the previous four Congresses have failed. Each of the previous three Congresses have seen similar legislation passed to the Senate floor. The bill's supporters touted the measure as one that would help spur innovation, create jobs and stimulate the economy.
"Patents encourage technological advancement by providing incentives to invent, invest in, and disclose new technology," said Sen. Hatch in his opening statement. "This in turn will create an environment that fosters entrepreneurship and the creation of new jobs; thereby contributing to growth within all sectors of our economy."
- Africa’s Informal Sector Marred by Small Manufacturing Base and Low Technology Adoption, Brookings Experts Say
- Wireless Internet Providers Excited About Multiple Spectrum Sharing Opportunities, Including FCC Priority Access
- FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks Gives the Broadband Scoreboard at SHLB: FCC Maps-0, Libraries-1
- Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Tackles Question of Public Versus Private Auction of C-Band Spectrum
- FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr Touts Work on Enhancing Telehealth and Flexible Spectrum
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Intellectual Property3 months ago
In Congressional Oversight Hearing, Register of Copyrights Says Office Is Responding to Online Users
Broadband Data5 months ago
Pennsylvania Broadband Speeds Worse Than Previously Believed, According to State Report
Broadband Data4 months ago
California Report: Income Most Significant Factor in Low Broadband Adoption
Privacy and Security2 months ago
Comparing Privacy Policies for Wearable Fitness Trackers: Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi and Under Armour
Antitrust1 month ago
Addressing the Impact of Big Data Upon Antitrust is More Complicated Than a Big Tech Breakup
Expert Opinion3 months ago
Geoff Mulligan: A ‘Dumb’ Way to Build Smart Cities
Antitrust1 month ago
Broadband Roundup: Everyone (Almost) Gangs Up on Google, Muni Broadband Fact Sheet, SHLB Anchornet Conference
Broadband Roundup2 months ago
Cable Industry Touts Energy Efficiency, Next Century Highlights Open Access Fiber, Aspen Forum Set