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Administration supports patent reform bill

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Efforts to revamp the U.S. patent system this year may have received a boost last week, when the Obama administration penned a letter generally supportive of a Senate bill (S. 515) that passed through the Judiciary Committee in April (1"The Gray Sheet" April 6, 2009). S. 515 is an important step "in placing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on a sound financial footing and ensuring that the intellectual property system as a whole is in a strong position to further our economic recovery," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke writes in an Oct. 5 2letter to the Senate committee. Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., suggested in response to the letter he would work with the Senate leadership to move the bill to floor debate this year. Secretary Locke specifically endorsed the compromise fashioned in Leahy's committee to adjust the way infringement damages are calculated using the so-called "gatekeeper" approach. He requests some adjustments to the bill, however, regarding the scope of prior art and a grace period

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