Patent-Reform Bill Introduced in Senate

Patrick Leahy (D-VT) speaks during the confirmations hearing for Elena Kagan, the Solicitor General, at the Committee on the Judiciary Nomination Hearing on the third day of the hearings on Wednesday, June 30, 2010.
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Laura Ryan
Nov. 18, 2013, 2:07 p.m.

Sen­ate Ju­di­ciary Chair­man Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, in­tro­duced a bill Monday aimed at re­form­ing the pat­ent pro­cess and com­batting ab­uses by so-called pat­ent trolls.

The Sen­ate bill was dropped as House Ju­di­ciary Chair­man Bob Good­latte, R-Va., set a markup for Wed­nes­day on his com­mit­tee’s ver­sion of pat­ent re­form.

The Leahy-Lee bill shares many sim­il­ar­it­ies with the House meas­ure. It would in­crease trans­par­ency of pat­ent own­er­ship, re­quire more de­tails in pat­ent de­mand let­ters, and strengthen de­fend­ants’ rights in pat­ent cases.

“Amer­ica’s pat­ent sys­tem is the envy of the world, but un­for­tu­nately some bad act­ors are mis­us­ing the sys­tem to sue un­sus­pect­ing con­sumers or ex­tort mon­et­ary set­tle­ments by mak­ing mis­lead­ing de­mands,” Leahy said in a state­ment.

The bill has back­ing from a range of groups, in­clud­ing “‹Pub­lic Know­ledge, the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Broad­casters, “‹the “‹In­ter­net As­so­ci­ation”‹, “‹and BSA The Soft­ware Al­li­ance.

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