Earlier this past week, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Patent Reform Act of 2007, as amended, by voice vote. On Thursday night the Senate Judiciary Committee passed an amended version of the Patent Reform Act of 2007 by a vote of 13-5:
- The YES votes were Leahy, Kennedy, Biden, Kohl, Feinstein, Schumer, Durbin, Cardin, Whitehouse, Specter, Sessions, Graham, and Cornyn
- The NO votes were Feingold, Grassley, Kyl, Brownback, and Coburn.
Kudos to Ranking Judiciary Committee Member Congressman Lamar Smith who sponsored this important reform, and Massachusetts Senator Kennedy and Congressman Delahunt to supported and voted for it.
The legislation was supported by the technology super-powers as well (See entry on July 11, 2007 below) because it helped prevent frivolous patents, reduced legal costs, and introduced more balance into the defendants’ versus plaintiffs’ rights equation.
Next stop: The House Floor. The Patent Reform Act still must be approved by the full House. The US Senate has its own version of patent reform in process. Once both bills pass they must then be “resolved” in a joint Senate/House committee prior to the president’s signature.