Washington, D.C. – The United States House of Representatives has passed H.R. 1249, the Leahy-Smith American Invents Act, which is said to be the most dramatic change to patent law since the 1950s. The Senate’s patent reform bill passed in March, and Indiana Intellectual Property Law News blogged about the bill here. Funding of the US Patent and Trademark Office was a continuous issue in the debate, and this issue will have to be addressed by the Senate before the bill can go to President Obama. The House and Senate will now conference to attempt to consolidate their bills, and additional votes may be needed before the reform goes to President Obama. The White House released a statement congratulating the House on the bill.
The vote was 304 in favor and 117 opposed. Indiana’s Representatives Buschon, Carson, Donnelly, Pence, Rokita, Stutzman, and Young voted in favor of the bill while Representatives Burton and Visclosky voted against the bill. A webcast of the hearing on this bill is available here.
Practice Tip: While many have praised this legislation, some patent attorneys expect that a great deal of litigation will be necessary in the coming years to flush out changes in the patent laws.