Senate Considering Patent Reform Bill

March 8, 2011

The U.S. Senate this week is considering the NSBA-opposed Patent Reform Act of 2011 (S. 23), approved last month by the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

NSBA remains concerned that the provisions in S. 23 on post-grant patent challenges and its effective elimination of the American grace period would put innovative small firms and startup businesses at greater risk than the current system and would result in a U.S. patent system strongly titled in favor of large incumbent corporations.

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 administration of President Barack Obama has issued an official Statement of Administration Policy in support of the legislation.

Meanwhile, opposition to the bill appears to be growing. In addition to organizations representing innovative small-businesses, start-ups, independent inventors, and technical professionals, the Coalition for Patent Fairness publicly has registered its opposition to the bill. The Coalition represents corporations such as Apple, Dell, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Verizon Communications. A number of conservative organizations, such as the Eagle Forum, also oppose S. 23.

NSBA urges Congress to shift its attention away from this misguided effort to reform America’s patent system and instead focus on modernizing and fully funding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Please click here for more information on NSBA’s opposition to the Patent Reform Act of 2011.

Please click here to read the opposition letter from the broad coalition.

Please take a few moments now to urge your Senators to support small, innovative firms and vote against thePatent Reform Act of 2011 (S. 23).