The Senate Judiciary Committee announced today the details of an agreement on long-pending legislation to reform the patent system. Senators Leahy, Hatch, and Senators Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the Committee’s ranking Republican, and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) are pushing the latest amendments (see below) for Senate consideration.
According to Leahy's/Sessions' press release:
With this agreement, we are closer than ever to advancing patent reform legislation through the Senate . . . Senator Hatch and I have worked through many Congresses to make meaningful reforms to the nation’s patent system, and I appreciate his commitment to this effort. This compromise may not be everything that everyone wants, but it makes important reforms to the outdated patent system. Strengthening American patents will improve the quality of our inventions and innovations, which will translate into jobs and economic growth in Vermont and across the country. Congress is committed to strengthening our economy, and the Patent Reform Act is an important component of that effort. I hope the leaders will soon schedule floor time for this important legislation.The proposed agreement makes changes to first-window post-grant review, inter partes review, willfulness, interlocutory appeals, Patent and Trademark Office funding, and supplemental examinations. The agreement retains several critical improvements in the Committee-reported bill, including the transition to a first-inventor-to-file system, the gatekeeper compromise on damages, the new district court pilot program, and more.
This important bipartisan agreement would institute reforms that significantly streamline and strengthen the U.S. Patent System . . . In doing so we are strengthening our ability to protect Americans’ ideas and inventions—developments that have done, and will continue doing, so much to improve and to enrich the world. These reforms would guard individuals, small businesses, and universities from frivolous legal challenges and help prevent abuse of the administrative process. They would also provide greater clarity and cut red tape that needlessly wastes time, money, and resources. American innovation goes to the heart of our economy, and our success as a nation must be protected. I urge the Senate to consider and act on this legislation and hope these needed reforms will soon be signed into law.
The full text of the substitute amendment is available here (link)