IP Update - Patent Law Reform - February 23, 2011


Finnegan attorneys closely track patent law reform efforts, most recently the Patent Reform Act of 2011 currently pending in the U.S. Senate for the 112th Congress. Through IP Updates, webinars, conferences, articles, and this resource page, Finnegan provides information on important legislative developments, public statements and testimony, and commentary from Finnegan attorneys on the impact of legislative and regulatory changes on U.S. and international businesses.

The Patent Reform Act of 2011 was introduced on January 25, 2011, by Senator Patrick Leahy. It addresses significant changes to the patent system, including first-to-file; damages; post-grant review proceedings (oppositions); inter partes review; preissuance submission by third parties; USPTO fee setting authority; supplemental examination; micro entity fees; tax strategy patents; and best mode. Notably, the bill does not address USPTO funding, a major issue recognized by many commentators. The Senate Judiciary Committee amended the bill and unanimously approved it on February 3, 2011. The bill awaits action on the floor of the Senate, with initial debate expected no later than mid-March. The House of Representatives, while active in prior sessions, has not yet introduced a bill of its own. However, it has held recent hearings on patent law reform.

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