Saturday, April 04, 2009

Huge Changes to Senate Patent Reform Bill Announced

Huge Changes to Senate Patent Reform Bill Announced;

The Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Meeting on the Patent Reform bill presently working its way through the Senate just ended, at approximately 10:30 am. Last week, on Thursday, March 26, 2009, Senator Arlen Specter announced that compromise was close, and that changes to the patent bill would be “very significant.” It would appear as if Senator Specter was not just blowing smoke. This morning Senator Leahy, Senator Specter and Senator Feinstein all agreed that an agreement is very close on all the contentious issues, including patent damages, willful damages, inequitable conduct, best mode, post-grant review, interlocutory appeals and venue. The changes to the patent reform legislation sound extremely significant, and it would seem that patent reform is going to happen and very soon.

Although the agreements were discussed, the specific language has not been announced as yet, but will be forthcoming. Senator Leahy explained that the Senators and their staff are still working over the exact language that will be put in place prior to the next meeting, which will take place on Thursday, April 2, 2009. The language is apparently going to be circulated prior to the next Executive Meeting on Thursday, April 2, 2009, so that the stakeholders can have an opportunity to be heard regarding the changes.

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