Monday, September 10, 2007

Breaking Down the Votes for HR 1908

Well, as everyone has heard, the Patent Reform Act of 2007 has successfully been voted through the House of Representatives by a 220/175 margin (with 37 representatives marked "present/not voting").

There were 5 amendments that were added during the vote:

(1) H.Amdt. 789 by Rep. Conyers [D-MI] - included revisions to the sections on damages, willful infringement, prior user rights, post-grant review, venue, inequitable conduct, applicant disclosure information and inventor's oath requirements, among others. [View Details]

(2) H.Amdt. 790 by Rep. Issa [R-CA] - amendment eliminating provisions in the law permitting certain applicants to delay or prevent publication of their applications. The amendment would strike that provision and permit applicants to delay publication until the later of (1) three months after a second PTO decision or (2) 18 months after the filing date.

(3) H.Amdt. 791 by Rep. Issa [R-CA] - changing the section relating to USPTO regulatory authority by adding the requirement that Congress be provided 60 days to review regulations before they take effect. Congress may bar implementation of the regulation by enactment of a joint resolution of disapproval.

(4) H.Amdt. 792 by Rep. Jackson-Lee [D-TX] - amendment requiring the Director of the USPTO to conduct a study of patent damage awards in cases from at least 1990 to the present where such awards have been based on a reasonable royalty under Section 284 of Title 35 of the United States Code. The Director of the PTO would be required to submit the findings to Congress no later than one year after the Act's enactment.

(5) H.Amdt. 793 by Rep. Pence [R-IN] - amendment prohibiting post-grant review from being instituted based upon the best mode requirement of patent law.

GovTrack has an excellent section on HR 1908, including floor speeches given, which can be viewed here (link)

Also included is a full list of representatives and their specific votes (link).

One interesting twist is the breakdown of representative's votes per state. States that clearly opposed HR 1908 included:

Arizona (6 nays, 2 ayes)
Indiana (6 nays, 2 ayes, 1 no vote)
Louisiana (4 nays, 1 aye, 2 no votes)
Michigan (10 nays, 5 ayes)
Minnesota (6 nays, 2 ayes)
New Jersey (10 nays, 2 ayes, 1 no vote)
North Carolina (9 nays, 4 ayes)
Ohio (13 nays, 3 ayes, 1 no vote)

States that clearly supported HR 1908 included:

California (41 ayes, 8 nays, 4 no votes)
Maryland (7 ayes, 1 nay)
Massachusetts (6 ayes, 3 nays)
New York (20 ayes, 6 nays, 3 no votes)
Texas (20 ayes, 8 nays, 4 no votes)
Virginia (9 ayes, 1 nay, 1 no vote)
Washington, (7 ayes, 0 nays, 2 no votes)
Wisconsin (6 ayes, 2 nays)

View voting list here (link)

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