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.
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.
- Patent Reform Vote Today! Everything You Need To Know (gametimeip.com)
- Patent Reform Supported By Small Entities? (gametimeip.com)
- Senate Takes Up Patent Reform (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)