The House Judiciary Committee has approved its version of legislation aimed at overhauling the nation's patent system.
The bill, approved on a 32-3 vote, would change the United States to a "first-to-file" system, which would award patents to the inventor who filed an application first. Currently the U.S. grants patents to whoever invents something first.
There's a huge backlog of patents -- 700,000 waiting for approval. the bill would allow the Patent and Trademark Office to set fees.
Supporters of allowing the agency to keep and set its fees say it will give the agency the resources to help address the backlog and improve the quality of the patents granted. Other provisions include changes to the process for reviewing or challenging patents.