Patent Reform: Patent Act of 2005

ReformOn Wednesday, June 8, 2005, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Patent Reform Act of 2005. (H.R. 2795). This proposed legislation includes sweeping reforms to fundamental aspects of the U.S. patent laws and procedures, including:

  • Change to a first-to-file system (including elimination of the 1-year grace period for certain third party public disclosure);
  • Elimination of the best mode requirement;
  • Changes to the duty of candor (violations will be adjudged by the PTO rather than in Federal Court);
  • Damages to be limited to the inventive contribution rather than calculated on the selling price of an entire product;
  • Limitations on damages for willfulness;
  • Adding a factor of “fairness”to the determination of whether to enter an injunction;
  • Automatic stay of injunctions for appeals;
  • Limits on scope of continuation applications (to be made by PTO); and
  • Introduction of a post-grant opposition procedure and submission of prior art by third parties, etc.
Although some of the provisions in the proposed legislation are toned-down from the discussion draft distributed this spring, this version still has something to offend almost every interest. Congressman Smith has called the bill “without question, the most comprehensive change to U.S. patent law since Congress passed the 1952 Patent Act.”
The reform is currently enjoying bipartisan support — The nine cosponsors include five Democrats.
Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] – 6/8/2005
Rep Boucher, Rick [VA-9] – 6/8/2005
Rep Cannon, Chris [UT-3] – 6/8/2005
Rep Coble, Howard [NC-6] – 6/8/2005
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] – 6/8/2005
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6] – 6/8/2005
Rep Issa, Darrell E. [CA-49] – 6/8/2005
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-16] – 6/8/2005
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] – 6/8/2005

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