Client Alert

New Patent Law Reform Bill Introduced in the Senate

March 08, 2010

Bruce M. Wexler and Jason T. Christiansen

Revised bipartisan legislation (available here) which would make major reform to the patent laws was introduced in the Senate on March 4, 2010 by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and cosponsored by Senators Jeff Session (R-Alabama), Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), and Ted Kaufman (D-Delaware).

The bill contains a provision directed toward inequitable conduct reform the addition of a supplemental examination process. We understand that Senator Hatch has been a proponent of inequitable conduct reform. The supplemental examination process allows a patent owner to submit post-grant additional information (not limited to patents and printed publications) believed to be relevant to a patent and the PTO will consider whether that information raises a substantial new question of patentability warranting reexamination.

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