Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Senate introduces Patent Reform Act, making challenges to anti-competitive patents easier

It would be well to note that the Senate is pondering a “Patent Reform Act of 2011”, S. 23, introduced by Patrick Leahy (D-VT) with govtrack link (website url) here.
Electronic Frontier Foundation has a major writeup, by Julie Samuels,  here. The reforms include raising the bar for “willfulness”, and at the same time a make the provisions for potential challeges to patentability more useful, particularly various kinds that center around a nine-month waiting period.  (It’s rather like an “anti-prospective-dilution” provision.) There is also a limitation on “business method” patents in procedures that don’t involve technological innovation, which hurts competition from small business.