Thursday, March 05, 2009

Patent Reform Lobbying Off to a Fast Start

If recent reports are any indication, Leahy should be a very popular person in the coming months.

From Law.com:

Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is expected to reintroduce a patent reform bill as early as today, according to people familiar with the matter. So it's no surprise that a who's who of tech general counsel -- Cisco Systems' Mark Chandler, Intel's Bruce Sewell, Google's Kent Walker -- and a phalanx of patent litigators paid $1,000 to down wine and hors d'oeuvres with the senator. A small group, committed to raising $10,000 for Leahy, got to stay for dinner.
It seems somewhat strange, if not ironic, that the group decrying the excesses of litigation would surround themselves with "a phalanx of patent litigators" to meet with Sen. Leahy. (The article didn't mention if any patent prosecution counsel were invited to the event).

The EE Times made mention of this fundraiser as well, although I think their numbers appear to be a little off (at least I hope so):
Big electronics companies are pushing hard for such legislation. Leahy held a $10,000 per plate dinner [*!!*] in Silicon Valley on February 17. It was hosted by the general counsels of Apple, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Google, Oracle, Symantec and Yahoo among others.
If you feel like "following the money", a good site to visit is OpenSecrets.org - you can dig through various groups to see who is giving what and to whom (tip: use search keyword "patent" as a start).

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