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Patents United States Government Politics

Patent Reform Bill Approved by House Committee 95

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the long-time-coming dept.
Alex Forster pointed us to this PC World story that opens, "The House Committee on the Judiciary approved far-reaching legislation to reform the nation's patent system Wednesday. The Patent Reform Act of 2007 largely reflects the IT sector's lobbying effort to curtail lengthy, expensive patent infringement lawsuits, but Wednesday's committee deliberations centered on finding compromises acceptable to opponents — namely the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, manufacturers, and large research universities — so that the bill could win approval. Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., described the current patent system as inefficient, bogged down by inappropriate litigation rules, unreliably funded, and resulting in patents of "questionable quality." The bill would make it harder to secure a patent and easier for rivals to challenge one, and it would change how courts determine an infringed patent's value."
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Patent Reform Bill Approved by House Committee

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  • by dc_dog (767092) on Friday July 20, 2007 @08:39AM (#19925561)
    The Senate Judiciary Committee passed their own version of the bill (S. 1145) yesterday afternoon. The bi-partisan bills now move to a vote in the full House and Senate. Trolls beware...
  • by Heisenbug (122836) on Friday July 20, 2007 @08:40AM (#19925563)
    Does this mean that prior art can no longer invalidate a patent if the creator of the prior art never filed for one?

    No, because to get a patent you have to prove the technique hasn't been previously published by someone else. This will just mean that if two people who can each prove that element file for the same patent, they won't have to argue about who kept it secret for longer.
  • by rmstar (114746) on Friday July 20, 2007 @09:11AM (#19925819)
    Go to a startbucks. The little cardboard ring that you use to keep your fingers from burning is protected by two patents. A piece of cardboard and a bit of glue, and you are a patent infringer. Now that I told you, you would be liable for trebble damages.

    And if you need a further wake-up, read how patent litigation really works here [law.com].
  • by beavioso (853680) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:56PM (#19928863)
    The "first-to-invent" is the system where if an application is rejected over prior art that is within one (1) year of the filing date (or priority date, which could be a provisional application, foreign application, or another US case) the applicant can file an affidavit swearing that they where the "first-to-invent". This means they can "swear back" upto 1 year behind their filing, or priority date. They need evidence to prove they were the "first-to-invent", which can be very subjective.

    The "first-to-file" system gets rid of these affidavit's and makes the filing, or priority, date the day of invention. If prior art was filed, published (meaning it was available to the public, but no one actually had to have seen it), etc, before the day of filing, it qualifies as prior art.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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