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Policy

Patent Chief Supports Congressional Reforms

by Glenn Hess
July 13, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 28

The head of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) says a bill to reform the U.S. patent litigation system that the House of Representatives plans to vote on this month contains many improvements over current law. PTO Director Michelle Lee says action by Congress is needed to address the problem of abusive lawsuits by entities that buy patent portfolios solely for the purpose of coercing settlements from alleged infringers. Lee says she is optimistic that lawmakers in the House and Senate will work together to send a consensus bill to the White House later this year for the President’s signature. President Barack Obama has repeatedly urged Congress to pass a patent reform bill. However, a coalition of drugmakers and universities has expressed strong opposition to the House version of the legislation. “As drafted, H.R. 9 would dramatically weaken intellectual property rights and undermine a patent system that is vital to incentivizing innovation and job creation in our country,” the groups warn.

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