Coalition against the Patent Reform Act of 2007 gets bigger: 430 join in Senate opposition letter

October 24, 2007
Post by Blog Staff

In May, it was a coalition of over 100 companies and organizations sending a letter to House and Senate leadership of both parties expressing opposition to the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (H.R. 1908 & S. 1145). By June, the group grew to over 200 companies and organizations, and they wrote another letter to the members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees when those committees were considering the Act.

Now that the Patent Reform Act of 2007 has passed the House in amended form and been reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the group has swelled to over 430 members, including representatives from all 50 states, and has sent another letter, this time to Senate majority leader Reid and minority leader McConnell asking that the bill not be passed in its current form. From the letter:

No compelling case has been made for a bill written in this fashion. It is based on claims of a crisis in the current patent system that does not exist, supported by selective assertions which do not hold up under scrutiny. Importantly, the bill fails to take into account the impact of numerous court decisions and administrative rules that have occurred recently regarding major patent issues. We believe the authors of the legislation must make fundamental changes to the legislation if it is to work for all American innovators, and we urge you not to consider the bill on the Senate floor unless such changes are made.

The signatories run the gamut of industries, and include representatives from "agriculture; alternative energy; biotechnology; chemicals; computer hardware, software, networking; cosmetics; entertainment; financial services; food/beverage; health care; heavy industry; life sciences; manufacturing; medical devices; material science; nanotechnology; optics; security; semiconductors; space systems; startup incubation; telecommunications, venture capital and Web-based businesses." Some notable organizational signatories include the American Intellectual Property Law Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-USA, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Financial Services Industry Intellectual Property Law Association, and the NanoBusiness Alliance.

We'll see if the letter has any effect, although Patent Reform has not appeared to be a high priority for the Senate after it returned from its recess in September.

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