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What the 2014 Election Means for Patent Reform

Without a Republican majority in the Senate last year, Congress was unable to pass patent reform legislation.

Without a Republican majority in the Senate last year, Congress was unable to pass patent reform legislation. The primary contender, as we previously reported, was the Innovation Act, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). That bill passed the House with an overwhelming majority vote of 325-91 only to get stalled in the Democratic-led Senate.(For a detailed discussion on Arent Fox’s reporting of the Innovation Act, click here.) At the time, many speculated that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was reluctant to permit Senate floor consideration of patent reform legislation that was opposed by trial lawyers and elements of the pharmaceutical industry. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) had worked closely with a bipartisan group of committee members to fashion a possible compromise bill as an alternative to the House-passed legislation. However, in view of problems within his committee and the concerns of the Majority Leader, Chairman Leahy pulled his draft bill from the committee agenda this spring and effectively ended the reform process for this Congress.

* This article was published in Patent Counsel. To read the full article, click here.

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