Patent Reform Among Top 3 Goals of New House Judiciary Chairman

November 7th, 2010

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is likely to be the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in the next Congress.  This Committee is charged with enacting laws that relate to courts and judges, Constitutional amendments, immigration, patents and trademarks, and other legal topics of national concern.  After the expected emphasis on strengthening national security and enforcing immigration laws, Rep. Smith is expected to pursue patent reform.  Rep. Smith in a recent interview listed patent reform as his third goal in a list of five primary goals.  Further details can be found here.

Whether the new patent reform efforts will take up where the old reforms left off remains to be seen.  However, one reason that patent reform was not pursued in the past Congress (aside from the fact that the reforms were introduced too close to the mid-term elections) was the inability of major patent system stakeholders to agree on the nature of needed reforms and the emphasis on post-grant reform (changes in patent litigation) almost to the exclusion of pre-grant reform (the patent process in the USPTO).   Those interested in patent reform should start preparing now to make their voices heard on the issue.

This information is presented for educational purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice; see disclaimer at Contact John Harris for more information at


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