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Broad Opposition to Proposed Patent Bill

Posted Oct 29, 2007 1:25 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A broad array of IP industries and groups are gearing up to protest proposed patent reform legislation.

More than 400 companies and organizations representing 25 industries have written to the Senate to criticize pending legislation known as the Patent Reform Act of 2007, or S 1145, reports Managing Intellectual Property magazine. HR 1908, which was passed in September, is the House version of the same bill.

"The letter says that the proposed Senate bill would 'weaken the enforceability of validly issued patents,' and that 'provisions such as an expanded apportionment of damages, an indefinite post-grant opposition process, excessive venue restrictions, burdensome and expensive mandatory search requirements, and unworkable interlocutory appeals provisions, pose serious negative consequences for continued innovation and American technological leadership in a competitive global economy,' " the article says.

A Web site about the nanotech industry, nanotechwire.com, notes that 75 companies in that sector also "have voiced their significant and continuing concern" about the legislation.

In addition to this (and other) legislation, "the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently passed new and controversial regulations regarding patent prosecution," notes an earlier Boston Herald article written by two lawyers. It discusses in detail the changes that are being proposed—and, to some extent, already implemented.

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