Following earlier approval by the Senate on March 8, 2011 of a patent reform bill (S. 23) (see http://tinyurl.com/4sq5thf), the House today approved the America Invents Act by a vote of 304 to 117 (H.R. 1249) (see http://tinyurl.com/3jmronb
and http://tinyurl.com/692hqx5). However, the House version contains significant differences from the Senate version (such as a weaker anti-fee diversion provision), so it remains to be seen how these differences with the Senate will be resolved.
The ultimate passage of this law is still not guaranteed, but now there is a far greater chance that it will become law following a likely reconciliation of the House and Senate versions (either in conference committee or if the Senate agrees to take up the House version).
For further updates on patent reform, please visit Foley.com/patentreform.
Stephen B. Maebius
Chair, IP Department