Patent Reform Bill Clears Senate, Inches Toward Becoming Law

10 03 2011

Could patent reform finally be on the way?

The answer, it seems, is yes. After years of discussion and stalled bills — and more discussion and more stalled bills — we’re within a stone’s throw of Congress overhauling the patent system.

On Tuesday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation that would restructure the way patents are issued. The 95-5 vote capped a six-year effort and came amid a Democratic call for the country to innovate its way out of high unemployment, as well as concerns that China, which has said it issued a record number of patents in 2009, would gain another edge over the U.S. Click here for the WSJ story; here for the NYT story.

Under the measure, the U.S. would shift to a “first to file” patent-rights system from a “first to invent” system.


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