Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Judiciary Committee Approval of the bipartisan PATENT Act

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the Committee approved the bipartisan PATENT Act, a bill to cut down on abuses in and bring needed transparency to the patent system.  As chairman of the Judiciary Committee last Congress, Leahy led bipartisan negotiations to craft a comprehensive and balanced bill to tackle the issue.  Leahy continued those bipartisan talks this year as Ranking Member.  His full remarks at today’s Judiciary Committee executive business meeting are available online.]

“When businesses are threatened with patent suits just for using a scanner they purchased, or website owners face threats simply for using basic software in e-commerce, the patent system is not working as intended.  I am proud that our measures to address these problems are a key piece of the PATENT Act.  Any reforms to our patent system must be measured and maintain the careful balance of the overall system.  The Managers’ Amendment we approved today, which was the result of two years of work in the Judiciary Committee, achieves this balance and brings needed transparency that will ensure the U.S. patent system remains the envy of the world. The bill reported today also includes my Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act, which strengthens an existing program at the PTO and encourages innovations to be used for humanitarian good. 

“As this legislation proceeds to the floor, there are some further issues to address.  I am committed to continue these conversations.  I thank Chairman Grassley, Senators Cornyn and Schumer and other bipartisan members who worked with me these last two years to craft and ultimately support the PATENT Act.”

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