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Patent Reform Bill Stuck in Committee

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Patent Reform Bill Stuck in Committee

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The patent reform legislation that companies like Microsoft, Intel, Oracle and Cisco were hoping would reduce litigation and improve patent quality hit a wall in the US Senate just days before it was to go to the floor for debate and a vote this week.

Its sponsor Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said it’s unlikely to be revived this year, especially since it’s an election year and time for major legislation like this is fast running out.

It was stymied by unsuccessful negotiations over limiting damages for infringement, with Leahy bemoaning the “thousands of hours…spent in negotiations to address the concerns of 100 senators, hundreds of representatives and dozens of stakeholders.”

Pharmas, biotechs, inventors, VCs and unions have argued that the bill’s reforms would weaken the patent system and make it hard to get new products to market.

The House passed a version of the bill last year.

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