US Patent Law changes appear imminent


John Pegram and Mark Ellinger

US patent reform looks like it may finally be coming. John Pegram and Mark Ellinger explain the proposed changes.

Major revisions to US patent law now appear likely in 2011. Members of Congress have discovered that patent legislation is an area in which they can agree on a bipartisan basis and potentially create a good public image.

Patent legislation has moved quickly and decisively this year. The Senate adopted its bill, S. 23, by a vote of 95 to 5 on March 8, 2011. A similar House of Representatives bill, H.R. 1249, was approved by the Judiciary Committee on April 14, by a 32 to 3 vote. That bill and a proposed manager’s amendment, being prepared by the committee staff in co-operation with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), may be considered by the full House as soon as mid-June 2011.

PTO fees and funding

US Patent Law, amendments, USPTO