Supreme Court Technology Law Blog
Edited by Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M.
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This weblog was created to share ideas about the development of Computer Law and Cyberlaw issues that receive attention in federal court litigation, particularly those issues that reach the U.S. SUPREME COURT. This blog is edited by:
Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M.
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Today, Congress will hold hearings on the proposed Patent Reform Act of 2007 as part of a potentially ambitious step toward patent law reform (Senate Bill 1145). Today’s Wall Street Journal includes an article identifying a divergence of interests between drug makers and technology companies on the suitability of certain so-called business methods patents. Technology companies want relief from dubious patents and drug makers do not, according to the Journal.
The current version of the Patent Reform Act of 2007 appears to be largely a series of changes in process (e.g., giving priority to the first to file rather than the first to invent), but there are proposed changes that impact the scope of patents. (A summary and copy of the current legislation is available from Patently-O Patent Law Blog).
One example is the proposal to explicitly conform section 103 of the Patent Act to the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Federal Circuit’s formalistic approach to reviewing prior art when assessing patentability of claimed inventions.
Even so, if this proposed legislation is a reliable measure of what ultimately may be enacted, unfortunately, we can be assured that we will not get legislation that squarely addresses what is needed for genuine subject matter reform of patent law.