Sponsors of the Patent Reform Act of 2007 playing hardball?September 11, 2007

According to reports, several of the key opponents of the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (H.R. 1908) withdrew their opposition to the bill before the House vote last Friday. Among those reportedly withdrawing their opposition include the AFL-CIO, Motorola, and the Association of American Universities, among others.

Why did they withdraw their opposition? It sounds like House chief sponsor Representative Howard Berman played a little hardball. From Roll Call's report (subscription required):

Berman, who chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, used tougher tactics to sway groups. One lobbyist against the bill said "there are just as many calls that are going up to the Hill as are coming back from the Hill." Added another lobbyist who is working on the bill: "My understanding is Berman has been pulling people in individually and saying, 'This is very important, and you have other stuff in front of me.'"

We'll see if similar unsavory tactics are employed by the chief sponsors in the Senate, Senators Leahy and Hatch.

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