Patent Reform is in the Air: Are your views being heard?

Steam Engine

The Patent Caucus is building steam as it crosses the United States — Headed for Washington DC and patent reform legislation. 

If you have an interest in patent legislation, make sure your voice is heard now.

In a rare cooperative effort, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), National Academies STEP Board, and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) are jointly hosting a series of town-hall conferences on patent reform and are discussing specific legislative proposals.  These agencies are working hard to get input from individuals and organizations interested in the patent process.  Conferences have already been held in San Jose and Chicago, with the final two stops in Boston (March 18) and Washington DC (June 9).  These town-hall meetings provide a rare opportunity to transparently assess proposed legislation and have your voice heard.  Transcripts of the meetings are being compiled and summaries will be provided to members of Congress during hearings on patent reform that are expected this year. 

Legislation is being proposed in a number of areas including: (i) a statutory fair use exemption from infringement liability for experimental use of a patented invention, (ii) a change to a first-to-file system and elimination of interference proceedings and other elements of , (iii) post grant opposition proceedings, (iv) changes to the wilfulness standard, and (v) expansion of prior-user rights.

These legislative proposals are still flexible and will be altered based on feedback from the town-hall meetings. 

I would like to invite you to take part in the remaining meetings.  If you cannot attend, feel free to contact me ( or William Rooklidge to present your proposal or other thoughts.


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