Senate Votes 89-9 to Pass Patent Reform, No End to Fee Diversion

Written by Gene Quinn, of IPWatchdog and Practice Center Contributor.

It looks like my prediction on Tuesday that the Senate would pass H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act, prior to President Obama’s much anticipated jobs and economy speech that begins at 7:00pm ET today, Thursday, September 8, 2011.  The Senate voted to pass H.R. 1249 and send the House version of the America Invents Act to the White House for President Obama’s signature by a vote of 89 to 9.  The Coburn Amendment, which would have once and for all put an end to fee diversion, was unsuccessful, being tabled by a vote of 50 to 48.

Beginning at 4:00pm ET the Senate started considering three separate amendments to H.R. 1249.  The passage of any would have required the legislation to ping back to the House of Representatives, but that was not to happen.

The first amendment considered was offered by Senator Sessions. The Sessions Amendment would have removed section 37 of the American Invents Act relating to the calculation of the 60-day period for applying for certain patent term extensions. At 4:10pm the roll call was run through for the first time with only 9 Senators having voted. Over the next 22 minutes 89 other Senators would make their way to the Senate floor to cast their votes. At 4:32pm the vote was announced; the Senate voted 51 to 47 to defeat the Sessions Amendment.

Click here to read the full IPWatchdog publication.


Patent Reform Update: Senate Voted To Invoke Cloture on Patent Reform

It was no surprise that the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the America Invents Act by 93-5 . The next step is a limited debate on the House Bill, H.R. 1249, and a final vote.   You can watch the Debate live today at 11:30AM.  Here are some reactions to yesterday’s Senate vote…

1. Senate Votes to Invoke Cloture on H.R. 1249 (Patent Docs)

2. Cloture Vote on Patent Reform Act; Public Collectively Reaches for Dictionary (Patent Baristas)

3. Senate Votes 93-5 to End Debate on Patent Reform, Vote Imminent (IPWatchdog)

4. Senate Backs Americs Invents Act 93-5 (Patents Post Grant)

5. Coons pleased with Senate’s vote to move patent reform bill forward (WGMD.COM)

6. Senate Vote Advances Patent Reform To Final Hurdle (Pharma Patents)

7. Some Hope for the Patent Reforms (PatentlyO)


Patent Reform Update: Senate to Vote on Patent Reform Today

Early this evening, the Senate will vote on a cloture motion to preclude further debate on H.R. 1249. The vote can be viewed on C-span. While there are differences with H.R. 1249 and S.23, (see Patent Reform, Close Enough For Government Work?) most notably concerns over fee diversion, the Senate intends to adopt the House bill.  Check out below what the patent community is saying about tonight’s expected vote:

1. Patent Reform: Post Grant Review Musings (IPWatchdog)

2. Patent Reform: Final Countdown (Patents Post-Grant)

3. Congress Returns, Prepares To Fight Over Jobs, Tax Cuts, Patent Reform, Trade Deals, FAA Funding And More (People Unlike Us)

4.  Patent Reform 2011 Survey Results ( PatentlyO)

5.  Patent Reform Faces Final Hurdles in Senate (National Journal)

6.  Senate Cloture Vote on H.R. 1249 Scheduled for Tuesday (Patent Docs)

7.  Pressing the Patent Reform Panic Button ( Pharma Patents)

8. First To File v. First To Invent, By Abrams & Wagner (The Conglomerate)

9. Senate Set To Vote Yes On Patent Reform Bill (Law 360)



Patent Reform Update: Senate Eyes September Enactment For Patent Reform

Scott McKeown, Partner at Oblon Spivak and Practice Center Contributor, sent in this article discussing the status of the pending patent reform legislation.

Debt Ceiling Raised, Job Bills On Deck

With debt ceiling armageddon now averted in the 11th hour (depending upon your perspective), Congress has turned its attention to election season addressing the economy. As previously discussed, the patent reform legislation has long been touted as a “no cost economic stimulus” that will create jobs.

While there are differences with H.R. 1249 and S.23, most notably concerns over fee diversion, the Senate has indicated a willingness to accept the House bill.

Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has identified patent reform as the first jobs bill to be taken up in the Fall term. To ensure quick enactment Senator Reid has indicated he will file cloture today (to remove the “hold”) so that the Senate can take up the bill immediately when the Senate convenes in September. (more…)


Scott McKeown, Partner at Oblon Spivak and Practice Center Contributor, sent in this article discussing the status of patent reform.

Further Fee Diversion Wrangling Unlikely

As the saying goes, “almost” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Recent events suggest that patent reform can now be added to the list.

Last week, H.R. 1249 was passed by the House. A copy of the bill, with all amendments, is found (here). A helpful mark-up illustrating the differences between the Senate Bill (S.23) and H.R. 1249 is found (here). (Thanks to Brad Pedersen of Patterson Thuente Christensen & Pedersen for the mark-up). (more…)