Congress Withdraws Patent Reform BillMay 30th, 2014 by DWM Magazine
Last week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, withdrew a patent reform bill that was passed by the House and due to come before the Senate. The bill was controversial, according to Reuters, but did garner support from many technology companies. The news was met with dismay by many in the construction industry including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
“NAHB is greatly disappointed in the decision to withdraw patent reform from the Senate calendar, therefore allowing patent abuses to continue at the expense of small businesses across the nation,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the NAHB. “Patent trolls continue to attack small businesses in home building and other industries with intentionally vague and misleading demand letters designed to do little more than extort money. The failure of Congress to take up patent reform has given trolls the green light to continue these deceptive practices.” Although Leahy withdrew the bill, in a statement he did acknowledge this is a real issue.
“We have been working for almost a year with countless stakeholders on legislation to address the problem of patent trolls who are misusing the patent system,” he said. “Unfortunately, there has been no agreement on how to combat the scourge of patent trolls on our economy without burdening the companies and universities who rely on the patent system every day to protect their inventions.”
He added, “Because there is not sufficient support behind any comprehensive deal, I am taking the patent bill off the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda. If the stakeholders are able to reach a more targeted agreement that focuses on the problem of patent trolls, there will be a path for passage this year and I will bring it immediately to the Committee. We can all agree that patent trolls abuse the current patent system. I hope we are able to return to this issue this year.”
But this piece of legislation is not the only of its kind that has been introduced—and not passed. Click here for an overview of 13 bills that address patent reform.