H.R. 5980 is a Bill "To amend Federal law to encourage the repatriation of jobs to the United States, and for other purposes." The bill includes three major tweaks to US patent law.
- Ending the publication of pending applications [as discussed here].
- Dramatically narrowing 35 U.S.C. 102(e) so that it only applies to patents that were subject to an international patent application.
- Giving "priority to the examination" of applications "made by" any "institution of higher education" or any "patent holding company affiliated with such an institution.”
Other portions of the bill would create several commissions and task forces to try to figure out how to bring jobs back to the US.
The sponsor of the bill, Frank Wolf is a Republican from north-west Virginia. Co-Sponsors include Randy Forbes (Republican from south-east Virginia), Daniel Lipinski (Democrat from Chicago), Candice Miller (Republican from northern Michigan), Hal Rogers (Republican from eastern Kentucky), and Rob Wittman (Republican from eastern Virginia).
The patent amendments appear out of the blue and have no logical link to repatriation.