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Lexology: Pending patent legislation—round two of patent reform

A brief synopsis of the proposed legislation and the potential impact it could have on companies by Bernard Knight from McDermott Will & Emery

January 16 2014

The U.S. Congress is once again poised to enact a new round of patents reforms. It is important to know the potential impact the legislation could have on your intellectual property portfolio and to be prepared to act.

On the heels of the recently enacted America Invents Act, the United States Congress is once again interested in patent reform. Now the focus is on abusive patent litigation, specifically the activities of “patent trolls.”

On December 5, 2013, the House of Representatives passed the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) by an overwhelming vote of 325–91, just six weeks after it was introduced. The Senate also has its own version of the legislation (S. 1720; the Senate version, or Leahy-Smith Bill). The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the proposed legislation on December 17, 2013, entitled “Protecting Small Businesses and Promoting Innovation by Limiting Patent Troll Abuse,” and should soon release its version of the bill.

The pending legislation will affect the ability of all companies to enforce and protect their valuable patent rights. In their current forms, both the House bill and the Leahy-Smith bill are not limited to patent trolls, but apply to all patent litigation.

Read "Pending patent legislation—round two of patent reform" at

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