For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

A head of steam, a breath of fresh air

The IPKat received this last night from David Mack of US law firm Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates, on behalf of the Coalition for Patent Fairness. It's a note headed "Patent Reform Legislation Approved by Full House Judiciary Committee" and it records the fact that the current drive for US patent law reform seems to have got up a good head of steam and is now driving forward. It reads, in relevant part, like this (with a few IPKomments thrown in):

"... Legislation that would represent the most fundamental patent reform in decades today was unanimously approved by the US House Judiciary Committee. The bill would foster greater innovation by American companies and enhance US competitiveness [the IPKat says, the bill appears to apply to non-US parties as well, presumably enhancing their innovation and competitiveness too]. It now heads to the floor of the US House of Representatives for a vote.

"Today's successful mark-up demonstrates Congress’ seriousness in dealing with the overwhelming need for balanced and comprehensive reform," said Jonathan Yarowsky, counsel to the Coalition for Patent Fairness. "Chairman Conyers, Ranking Member Smith and Representative Berman have clearly demonstrated that they are leaders on patent reform. We look forward to working with all members for swift passage on the House floor.” [the IPKat says, nice work, lads - but once you've finished with patents there are still plenty more IP problems to legislate for. Let's try geographical indications again, shall we?]

...

A broad and diverse cross-section of US businesses, leading legal scholars, economists and policymakers has recognized the need for patent reform [the IPKat adds, what about all us foreigners? We've been advocating US patent reform for years - if only to make the US law more recognisably like that of most other countries]. Leading legal scholars and economists have spoken out about how urgent the need is for patent reform and opinion-leading publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post, have editorialized in support of passing patent reform legislation without delay.

Moreover, the US Supreme Court recently has found it necessary to review an unusual number of patent-related cases in order to correct – often with unanimous rulings – imbalances in the judicial interpretation of core principles of patent law and procedure [the IPKat says, how lucky the Americans are that this level of judicial adjustment is seen as a need for reform rather than as an excuse for avoiding it]. However, only Congress can implement the comprehensive reform needed to restore balance in a number of areas of the patent system. The Patent Reform Act of 2007 will do just that".

Right: US patent for an economical device and method for ensuring a life-saving supply of fresh air to a person entrapped in a burning hotel room or the like, when the person is subjected to toxic smoke inhalation

For those who like a little more detail and a bit less of the congratulatory stuff, Duncan Bucknell's IP Thinktank blog has a neat summary and gives further links.

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