Leahy Comments On Floor Schedule For Patent Reform Act

WASHINGTON (Friday, Feb. 18, 2011) – The Senate has entered into an agreement to proceed to the Patent Reform Act of 2011 on February 28.  Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the lead author of the bipartisan Patent Reform Act, which was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 3.  Leahy has been pressing for floor consideration of the legislation. 

“In his State of the Union address, President Obama challenged the nation to out-innovate, out-build and out-educate.  Enacting the Patent Reform Act is a key to meeting this challenge.  Reforming the nation’s antiquated patent system will promote American innovation, create American jobs, and grow America’s economy.

“I am pleased that the Senate will consider the Patent Reform Act after the recess.  It is a critical part of our jobs agenda.  Hundreds of thousands of patent applications are stalled at the Patent and Trademark Office.  Among those is the application for the next great invention.  Addressing the needs of the Patent and Trademark Office will unleash innovation and promote American invention, without adding a penny to the deficit.  This is commonsense, bipartisan legislation, and its consideration by the Senate is long overdue.”

The Patent Reform Act of 2011 was introduced in the Senate on January 25, 2011, by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).  The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.).  The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the legislation by a 15-0 vote on February 3, 2011.  Congressional efforts to reform the nation’s patent system first began in 2005.  The Senate Judiciary Committee has reported patent reform legislation to the full Senate in each of the last three Congresses.

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