Patent Reform Act of 2007 hitting a snag?August 27, 2007

In today's Wall Street Journal, there is an article noting that the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1145, H.R. 1908) may be coming up against some resistance when Congress returns from its August recess. The article notes that the AFL-CIO has warned that if the Act is passed in its current form, "innovation—and union-backed manufacturing jobs—might be at risk."

This warning from the manufacturing sector, combined with a report from a newspaper in India (circulated by two members of Congress) that foreign generic pharmaceutical manufacturers are also eager for the reforms to be passed, have caused some members of Congress concern that the proposed reforms would hurt U.S. businesses. Representative Howard Berman, the chief sponsor of the bill in the House, doesn't seem to understand the concerns, and states that harm to innovation is caused by "the weakness and abuses of the current [patent] system."

Time will tell whether there is enough resistance to the legislation to prevent its passage. However, given the combined influence of organized labor and the pharmaceutical industry, it appears the legislation is no longer on the fast track to passage. We'll be monitoring the legislation when Congress comes back in session after Labor Day.

More from the Patent Prospector here.

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