Before Congress left Washington to spend full time in campaign mode, the Senate unanimously passed S.3486: Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012.
The two treaties, the Hague Agreement Concerning International Registration of Industrial Designs and the Patent Law Treaty, were originally signed by President Bill Clinton and ratified by the Senate in 2007. This bill and its sister bill in the House, H.R. 6432, are simply implementing legislation necessary for the treaties to take effect in the US.
The treaties generally concern design patents and would change the term and conditions for such patents. The goal is to make it easier to file a single application for filing in multiple countries.
It is likely that the House will take up, and probably pass, the companion bill during a lame duck session after the election. There is also speculation that Congress may attempt some technical amendments to last year’s America Invents Act during such as session as well.
IPWatchdog has provided a good summary of the bill.