Senate Committee Approves Patent Reform Bill

February 8, 2011

The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary last week approved the NSBA-opposed Patent Reform Act of 2011 (S. 23).Sixteen senators voted in favor of the bill, while only two senators opposed it: Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

The Patent Reform Act was introduced Jan. 25, 2011 by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chair of the Committee on the Judiciary, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary, and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

The Committee put off consideration of two possibly contentious amendments. An amendment by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) would have altered the bill’s “first-to-file” provision, while and amendment from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would have revised how Congress appropriated the fees collected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Both issues are critically important to America’s small-business community.

Please click here for more information on NSBA’s position on the Patent Reform Act.