Senators have given final passage to patent reform legislation (America Invents Act – S. 23) by a vote of 95-5.
According to the New York Times, this bill would “give priority on patents for new inventions to the first person to file an application at the United States Patent Office.”
The current system gives priority to the person who can prove he [or she] was the first to invent something.
The current bill, which would “still have to pass the House before being sent for the president’s signature, would allow the Patent Office to set its own fees.”
David J. Kappos, the director of the patent office and undersecretary for intellectual property in the Department of Commerce, wants to install a new system that would allow applicants to pay a higher fee in order to guarantee that a decision on an application will be rendered within a year. At the same time, he also wants to offer special, lower rates for small businesses and individual inventors.
Currently, it takes about three years for the average patent application to make its way through the system, and the office has more than 700,000 applications that have not yet received even a first look. Mr. Kappos said that he needs additional revenues from patent fees to rebuild the office’s technology systems, which he says are woefully out of date.
Senators have adopted a procedural (cloture) motion to limit debate on the patent reform bill (America Invents Act – S. 23) currently being debated by the Senate by a vote of 87-3.
A vote on final passage is possible as early as tomorrow.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed a procedural (cloture) motion on the patent reform bill (America Invents Act – S. 23) currently being debated by the Senate.
A vote on this motion will occur on Monday of next week. Passage would limit further debate and move the Senate toward a final vote on the patent reform measure.
An amendment offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to the patent reform bill (America Invents Act – S. 23) has been tabled by a vote of 87-13.
The underlying legislation would change the federal patent system from “first to invent” to “first to file” in determining patent priority.
Senator Feinstein’s amendment would have gotten rid of the language making this change and maintained the existing “first to invent” system.
Some arguments for and against the system change can be found here.
An amendment offered by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) to patent reform legislation (America Invents Act – S. 23) has been defeated by a vote of 58-40. Per a unanimous consent agreement, 60 votes were needed for adoption.
According to a Facebook entry by Senator Lee, this amendment “would signify the level of support in the Senate for a Balanced Budget Amendment.”
It stipulates that “Congress should pass and the States should agree to an amendment to the Constitution requiring a Federal balanced budget.”
This “sense of the Senate” amendment “does not specify a particular Balanced Budget Amendment proposal” and is not binding.