Patent Reform Bill Advances In Senate | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 37 | p. 17 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 12, 2011

Patent Reform Bill Advances In Senate

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: patent, Coburn

The Senate late last week voted to limit debate and move toward final passage of legislation (H.R. 1249)that would overhaul the U.S. system for granting patents. The House of Representatives has already cleared the bill, and Senate leaders urged their colleagues to approve the measure without making changes so it could be sent directly to President Barack Obama for his expected signature. The legislation, which is supported by the White House and a diverse group of industries and information technology companies, aims to ensure that the Patent & Trademark Office has sufficient resources to reduce a massive backlog in patent applications and would align the U.S. with the first-to-file system used by most other industrialized nations. But Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) threatened to derail the effort, saying he would offer an amendment that would bar Congress from redirecting fees collected by the patent office to other, unrelated government programs. “If my amendment fails,” Coburn warned, “I will do everything in my power to slow the bill and highlight this egregious tax on innovation.”

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