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Pending Senate Patent Reform Bill

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008 by Jim Ruttler

The United States Senate is currently considering patent reform bill S.1145, a companion to the patent reform bill already passed by the House. The main aspects of the bill are switching to a first-to-file system, simplifying filing and examination, providing less expensive administrative procedures for questioning patent validity, allowing for 3rd party prior art submissions during examination, and requiring prior art searches when filing a patent application. Other provisions include ending US Patent Office fee diversion, clarifying damage calculations, and limiting venue.

“The purpose of the Patent Reform Act of 2007, as reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee, is to ensure that the patent system in the 21st century reflects the 18th century Constitutional imperative. Congress must promote innovation through the enticement to inventors of temporally limited monopolies on their inventions, and it must do so for the ultimate benefit of the public. The legislation is designed to establish a more efficient and streamlined patent system that will improve patent quality and limit unnecessary and counterproductive litigation costs. If the United States is to maintain its competitive edge in the global economy, it needs a system that will support and reward all innovators with high quality patents. The time has come for Congress to reconsider the 50 year old patent statute and how it is currently being applied.”

Summary of Senate and House Patent Reform Bills by John R. Thomas

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