Opposition Grows to Post-Grant Review Provisions in Proposed Patent Reform Act of 2009

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Opposition grows to the post-grant review provisions in the pending Patent Reform Act of 2009 before Congress. Opponents point out that two Obama Administration officials have ties to IBM and Microsoft.

"Patent policy is suddenly being run by advocates for Microsoft and IBM," says Pat Choate, noted economist and writer, and a board member at American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and defending American innovation. Dr. Choate was quoted in an article, "Senators, Inventors Criticize Patent Bill Favored by Tech Cos," that appeared in the Friday, October 16, Wall Street Journal and was distributed by the Dow Jones Newswire Service.

Dr. Choate's comment was in response to criticism that U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director David Kappos spent 26 years at IBM, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke received campaign contributions from Microsoft employees. At issue is proposed post-grant review provisions in the pending Patent Reform Act of 2009 that would give third parties - such as IBM, Microsoft and other giant high tech corporations - expanded ability to challenge newly issued patents.

The Wall Street Journal article also addressed another challenge to the Patent Reform Act of 2009 that came from 12 Senators who co-signed a letter from Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican from Kentucky. In the letter, the senators wrote that the proposed legislation "threatens to diminish the value and enforceability of U.S. patent rights." The letter also stated that the Senators found the proposed bill's post-grant provisions to be "quite problematic."

About American Innovators for Patent Reform
Headquartered in New York, American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR) represents a broad constituency of American innovators and innovation stakeholders, including inventors, engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs, patent owners, investors, small businesses, and intellectual property professionals such as patent attorneys, patent agents, tech transfer managers and licensing executives.

AIPR opposes the Patent Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 1260 and S. 515) and its proposed apportionment of damages, post grant opposition and a change to the first-to-file regime. AIPR advocates strengthening the US intellectual property regime and increasing the funding of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. AIPR advocates patent reform that creates a multi-tier patent system, synchronizes patent and copyright laws, and clearly strengthens US patents. For more information about AIPR, please visit http://www.aminn.org.

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