Posted by Sequel on June 4, 2014
Topic: blogs, Patents
Tags: Congressional Legislation, Intellectual Property, Patent Trolls
No Patent Reform in Current Congressional Term as Senate Bill Get Yanked

The prospects for patent law reform being passed by the current Congress disappeared last week when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) pulled his bill after several contentious months of no consensus.

The Senate’s Judiciary Committee Chairman had been fighting to get the Senate to adopt patent reform in the wake of the House of Representatives’ overwhelming passage of legislation earlier in the session. The primary target of Leahy’s proposed bill was the conduct of patent “trolls.”

A troll is defined in Wikipedia as “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” Many in the world of intellectual property, including inventors and many law firms, view the practice as shoddy and have been supportive of legislative attempts to curb it.

Many critics of the House legislation expressed concern that it could have a strong negative impact on small inventors and companies without the resources to produce products on their own. Leahy’s bill was designed to temper some of the House bill’s provisions in an effort to respond to those critics.

Observers suspect that with the mid-term elections pending, it’s unlikely patent troll legislation will be adopted this year.

 

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