House Passes H.R. 1249

After two days of debate that included the issues of the constitutionality of the first-to-file regime and PTO funding provisions, the America Invents Act overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives yesterday, 304-117.

Earlier in the day, the House had passed Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) Manager’s Amendment, 283-140.  The Manager’s Amendment stripped the original bill of the PTO’s fee-setting authority.  Although Chairman Smith argued that the newly worded fee provision requires PTO collections be placed in a specific fund that can only be used by the PTO, the fact is that the provision is very similar to the status quo.  The fees the PTO collects must still be appropriated by Congress.  House members promised not to steal any more funds from the PTO, but we all know how much congressional promises are worth.

Patent Docs has a recap of the voting on various proposed amendments to the bill.

Now, the House bill must be reconciled with the Senate bill before anything is sent to Pres. Obama for signature.  The leading proponent in the Senate for ending fee diversion, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), issued a press release urging the House to reject the bill that lacks the provisions to end fee diversion.  He argued that without this safeguard, there is no reason to believe that the Appropriations Committee will not continue to steal funds from the PTO.

Meanwhile, the Aministration, through Director Kappos, issued a statement praising passage of the bill and encouraging expeditious final passage.  Director Kappos seems more confident in a promise from the Appropriations Committee than seems warranted given that that committee is responsible for the current mess that siphoned off close to $1 billion from the PTO over the last 20 years.

Will the Senate accept the removal of the fee diversion prohibition language?  What about the House’s broad prior use rights?  Let’s hope not.  The bill that passed the House is a far cry worse than the one that passed the Senate.

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6 Responses to “House Passes H.R. 1249”

  1. Devin Patel Says:

    I just came across this blog on H.R. 1249:. If you are trying to rally support or see what others are thinking check out POPVOX.COM POPVOX is a nonpartisan, transparent, public platform for activity on bills pending before Congress, built by a former Congressional staffer, a former advocate, and the founder of GovTrack.us.
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  2. General Global Week in Review 27 June 2011 from IP Think Tank Says:

    [...] passes H.R. 1249 America Invents Act (Inventive Step) (Patently-O) (Patent Law Practice Center) (Patent Docs) (Patents Post-Grant) (Patent Baristas) [...]

  3. China Update 3 July, 2011 from IP Think Tank / 中国知识产权动向,2011年7月3日 来自IP Think Tank Says:

    [...] passes H.R. 1249 America Invents Act / 美国众议院通过《美国发明法案》 (Inventive Step) (Patently-O) (Patent Law Practice Center) (Patent Docs) (Patents Post-Grant) (Patent Baristas) [...]

  4. Panama foundation Says:

    Where necessary we have cut funding for ineffective and unproven programs and have made strides to prevent taxpayer dollars from slipping through the cracks lost to redundant or wasteful programs House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said….. This legislation also prioritizes agencies and services that provide the greatest benefits to the American people making the most oftaxpayer dollars. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote…..McCollum D-MN The amendment prohibits the government from entering into contracts or agreements with any corporation that was convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the preceding 24 months.

  5. Senate to Take Up House Patent Reform Bill After August Recess « INVENTIVE STEP Says:

    [...] Now that Congress has finally resolved the crisis over the debt ceiling, it’s time for them to go on their annual month-long vacation.  When they return, they plan to take up the House patent reform bill first.  From the sound of it, they plan to simply vote on the problem-filled bill passed by the House in June. [...]

  6. All Eyes on Senate as it Votes on Patent Reform « INVENTIVE STEP Says:

    [...] 1249 is the House version of the Patent Reform bill that passed that chamber in June.  Although the Senate passed the original Patent Reform bill in the 112th Congress, the House has [...]

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