IP Update - Patent Law Reform 2011 - August 31, 2011


The U.S. House of Representatives voted by a margin of 304 to 117 on June 23, 2011, to reform U.S. patent laws by approving the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249). This vote follows approval in the U.S. Senate of very similar legislation (S. 23) on March 8, 2011.

The House and Senate now will begin a process of reviewing the two versions of the legislation, aiming to adopt a final bill that the President can sign into law. On August 2, 2011, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 1249. The cloture vote, which would end debate in the Senate, is scheduled for September 6, 2011. If the cloture vote passes, the Senate would then vote on adopting H.R. 1249, in lieu of S. 23. If the Senate approves the House version of the legislation, the President would have the opportunity to sign the legislation. The President has previously indicated his support for patent law reform, and we expect he will sign this legislation if and when it is presented to him.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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