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Congress

Senate Takes Up Patent Reform

February 28, 2011

The Senate takes up patent reform this afternoon -- a seemingly boring and complicated issue that has the potential to create jobs at little federal cost.

CEOs and industry organizations say new ideas and products are dying on the vine while waiting for patent protection from an increasingly burdened U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Harvard Business Review calls it "the biggest job creator you never heard of," but when the Senate takes up consideration of the Patent Reform Act of 2011 today, it will be revisiting legislation that has, in one form or another, been stalled in Congress for five years.

Patents are the "lifeblood of technological advancement, economic growth, and job creation," said Paul Michel, a retired chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has jurisdiction over patent cases. "If companies can't get their products and ideas protected, they can't find investors or monetize their innovation."

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