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White House, Leahy Push For Patent Reform Ahead Of Cloture Vote White House, Leahy Push For Patent Reform Ahead Of Cloture Vote White House, Leahy Push For Patent Reform Ahead Of Cloture Vote White House, Leahy Push F...

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Congress

White House, Leahy Push For Patent Reform Ahead Of Cloture Vote

Patrick Leahy (D-VT) speaks at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on July 14, 2009.(Richard A. Bloom)

March 7, 2011

Just hours before the Senate is scheduled to vote to end debate on the America Invents Act, Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, took to his white board to explain patent reform as part of President Obama's innovation agenda.

"We've talked about a whole lot of ways we're going to win the future," Goolsbee said in the video. "We've got the greatest inventors in the world and it's time we give them the help they need to bring the country where it needs to be."

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As his patent bill nears its final hours in the Senate, Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., touted Obama's support for the legislation, which would be the first major overhaul of the U.S. patent system in almost 60 years.

Several tech associations, meanwhile, pushed for the adoption of an amendment which would restrict the ways a patent can be challenged.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association wrote senators asking them to support the amendment, offered by Sens. James Risch, R-Idaho, and Mark Udall, D-Colo.

"We hope to see additional improvements before the bill becomes law," said CCIA President Ed Black. "The Risch-Udall amendment strikes harmful changes in S. 23, which would restrict the ability of the PTO to reexamine low quality patents. This leaves costly litigation as the only solution to low quality patents. Low quality patents weaken the entire system and serve as a roadblock to real innovation and the jobs that come with it."

Last week the Information Technology Industry Council also sent a letter calling on the Senate to strike the post-grant review language.

But other groups, including Innovation Alliance and the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform, have said they would oppose the entire bill if the provision is removed.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on a cloture motion after 5:30 p.m. Monday.

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