Patent Reform once again dead in the water?April 14, 2008

Negotiations on a compromise version of the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (S.1145) broke down late last week, and now it appears that the bill may not be considered before the full Senate before its next recess in May, if at all.

The breakdown occurred over the controversial damages apportionment provision in the bill. One of the bill's previous supporters, Senator Arlen Specter, pulled his support of the bill because a compromise could not be reached regarding this provision. In response, Senator Patrick Leahy, the sponsor of the bill and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed his lament that "a handful of words" resulted in stalling of debate on the reform effort.

Further, between economic issues and the fact that this is an election year, it appears unlikely that the bill will be brought before the Senate, which would effectively kill the legislation until the next Congress.

We'll continue monitoring the legislation to see if anything changes that may indicate it will be considered this year.

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