This week, the Senate will renew debate on an important bill that will transform our nation’s patent system and, in turn, enhance our competitiveness, create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
The proposed patent legislation—the Patent Reform Act of 2011—offers a reasonable and thoughtful set of reforms that balance the interests of all stakeholders, and updates U.S. patent laws for the first time in more than 50 years.
After years of deliberation and revision, the patent bill proposed by Senators Leahy, Hatch, Grassley and others presents an opportunity to make necessary, vital improvements to the U.S. patent system to protect inventors and promote innovation.
While Congress has grappled with contentious provisions that hindered previous versions of the bill, the Patent Reform Act of 2011 (S.23), is buoyed by broad consensus and support, as reflected by the unanimous vote in its favor by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Under the bi-partisan legislation, the patent system would undergo important changes. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office would get the tools it desperately needs to reduce the backlog of pending patent applications, while improving the quality of patents issued to inventors. This transformation would bolster American competitiveness in the global economy and help stimulate innovation.
We live in the most innovative country in the world, yet our patent system has not kept pace with changing times. Inventors large and small, as well as the patent bar, universities, and a wide spectrum of industries, are united in their support for the pending patent legislation. Now is the time for Congress to take action and quickly pass the patent reform bill.