Senate Panel OKs Patent Reform Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday designed to revamp the nation's patent system, legislation that includes several provisions that would affect small inventors.

The bill would create a more efficient process to review issued patents and to limit damages for infringement. It also would create a new class of very small inventors called "micro entities." The final vote on S. 1145 came about a month after the panel began deliberating the bill.

The panel rejected several amendments, including one to change a provision creating an apportionment rule for calculating damages in patent lawsuits. The bill would mandate that royalties from a product in a patent-infringement case be apportioned by percentages attributed to the patented use of the invention.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who offered the failed amendment, said the current apportionment approach would not be feasible for determining an infringement case for an airplane, for example, which includes hundreds of patentable parts. Others disagreed and said patent damages have spiraled out of control.

The House Judiciary panel approved its companion patent bill on Wednesday, and that measure could come before the full House before Congress takes its annual August recess.

By Sharon McLoone |  July 23, 2007; 6:00 AM ET Intellectual Property
Previous: Proposal May Hurt Office-Supply Firms | Next: Defense Contractor Plays 'Finders Keepers'


Please email us to report offensive comments.

All this talk of a need for patent "deform" is but a red herring fabricated by a handful of large tech firms as a diversion away from the real issue...that they have no valid defense against charges they are using other parties' technologies without permission. The objective of these large firms is not to fix the patent system, but to destroy it or pervert it so only they may obtain and defend patents; to make it a sport of kings. Patents are a threat against their market dominance. They would rather use their size alone to secure their market position. Patents of others, especially small entities, jeopardize that.

Sadly, some legislators and other parties have been duped by these slick firms and their well greased lawyers, lobbyists (some disguised as trade or public interest groups), and stealth PR firms. Don't be surprised to find the Washington lobbyist scandal spreading into the patent deform proceedings.

Anyone hoodwinked by these thieves should read Representative Rohrabacher's speech of July 12 on the House floor.

Stephen Wren

Posted by: Stephen Wren | July 23, 2007 11:12 AM

I have read the Senate reform bill act and the attaching amendment. The amendment is no more or less than a crass attempt by banking industry to have the act say that current patent law does not apply to them and that, should anyone disagree, they should get retroactive benefit in any future law including a retroactive award of virginity with regard to any prior transgression.

Posted by: Paul Principato | July 28, 2007 9:17 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2010 The Washington Post Company