Administration Hits Patent Reform Bill | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 6 | p. 36 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 11, 2008

Administration Hits Patent Reform Bill

Department: Government & Policy

Taking sides in a fight over how best to spur innovation, the Bush Administration says it strongly opposes a patent reform bill that has cleared the House and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate later this month. In a Feb. 4 letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the Administration says it will oppose the legislation unless changes are made to a key provision changing the way damages are calculated in patent infringement cases. The bill limits damage awards to the actual value of the particular technology involved in the suit instead of the total market value of a finished product containing the technology. The legislation is championed by technology companies—such as Microsoft, Intel, and Apple—that want to curb what they consider disproportionate damage awards for patent infringement. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies have been leading the opposition, arguing the bill would significantly weaken the value of their patents.

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