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Patent Reform Legislation

Written by on Tuesday, November 1st, 2005 Print This Post Print This Post

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering legislation to reform U.S. patent law. The reform bill, H.R. 2795, was introduced by Representative Lamar Smith of Texas on June 8, 2005, and is the subject of intense debate in the House.

The proposed legislation would modify existing rules on such issues as first inventor to file; the definition of prior art; assignee filing; best mode requirement; willful infringement; venue for infringement actions; the apportionment of damantges for infringement; and continuation applications. The Intellectual Property Owners Association is tracking the debate on this legislation, which is updated regularly on its website.

The Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of California has urged its members who have input on the legislation to contact their congressional representatives. California Congressman Howard Berman is the ranking minority member of the House Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, and other members of the Subcommittee from California include Adam Schiff, Elton Gallegly, Darrell Issa, Zoe Lofgren, Maxine Waters, and Linda Sanchez.

Experts are predicting that the bill will pass in some form, although it is unclear which provisions will survive the current debate.

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