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america invents act, IP, Patent

Could Patent Reform Bring Regional Offices To A City Near You?

Yesterday the Senate introduced S.23, the Patent Reform Act of 2011 to the Senate floor, but it has yet to be put to a vote, as Senators instead proposed various amendments. Among the amendments that actually have something to do with patents were two offered by Colorado Senator Michael Bennett.

The first deals with offering a 50% fee reduction for small entities that want to take advantage of the patent office’s new “fast track” option (also summarized at TacticalIP).  Of course, the entire “fast track” proposal still makes no sense without putting an end to fee diversion, but this amendment would at least make the new fast track conform to other small entity fee reduction policies the office already currently uses.

Senator Leahy publicly supported the amendment, and suggested that no debate would be necessary to add Bennett’s amendment to the bill.

Bennett’s second amendment would add three regional patent offices over the next three years.  Recall, late last year that the PTO announced the opening of a regional office in Detroit. Bennett’s remarks did not address any suggested locations for the regional offices, but Senator Leahy’s response mentioned that the amendment calls for “geographic diversity” to keep each Senator from asking for a patent office in their own states.

Despite earlier suggestions, Senator Feinstein’s rumored amendment striking the ‘first-to-file‘ portion of the reform bill, and Senator Coburn’s amendment ending fee diversion were not discussed.

Senator Leahy proposed an amendment changing the title of the bill to the America Invents Act.

The other amendments? Senator Mike Lee proposed an amendment calling for a constitutional amendment requiring congress to pass a balanced budget, and David Vitter rambled incoherently about a “Full Faith and Credit” amendment to address government spending.



5 thoughts on “Could Patent Reform Bring Regional Offices To A City Near You?

  1. “changing the title of the bill to the America Invents Act”

    It would be more accurate to call it the “America Stops Inventing Act” because that is the direction things are going. Patents are too expensive, take too long to get, and are too expensive and hard to enforce. This bill only makes matters worse.

    Just because they call it “reform” doesn’t mean it is. Patent reform is a fraud on America.

    Please see http://truereform.piausa.org/ for a different/opposing view on patent reform.

    Posted by staff | March 1, 2011, 9:04 am
  2. Even if done surreptitiously as “patent reform,” almost any measure that will serve to reduce the USPTO’s backlog and prop up the domestic economy in sagging areas is welcome. So if we have Detroit and Denver, will the 3rd satellite office be on the east coast? And if so, where? New Jersey, Pittsburgh, or Florida. perhaps? Any insight? Personally, I’d vote for California.

    Posted by patent litigation | March 7, 2011, 6:19 pm


  1. Pingback: Serious Opposition To Patent Reform From California Senators « Gametime IP - March 3, 2011

  2. Pingback: Detroit Patent Office Is “The Real McCoy” « Gametime IP - March 3, 2011

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