Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

CRS Report – Patent Reform in the 110th Congress.

Posted in General Commentary, Statute Commentary by Jake Ward on January 26, 2008

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a research arm of the United States Congress that has been in operation since since 1914 (first established as the Legislative Reference Service).   CRS provides policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation.  CRS experts assist at every stage of the legislative process, from the early considerations that precede bill drafting, through committee hearings and floor debate, and to the oversight of enacted laws and various agency activities. 

John R. Thomas, Professor of Law at the George Washington University and visiting scholar for the CRS, has prepared a CRS Report for Congress, titled Patent Reform in the 110th Congress:  Innovation Issues.  The 46-page report covers both similarities and differences between H.R. 1908 (having already passed the House) and S. 1145 (widely predicted to pass the Senate this term).  The below simple chart provided by the report nicely shows a high-level overview of the various initiatives being considered:

  PRA Inits

The report is also surprisingly well balanced, and clearly identifies many of the arguments typically made by parties both pro- and con- particular reform initiatives.  We consider this report a “must read” for any practitioner who might want a good overview of the various reforms being considered, as well as rationale and potential pitfalls associated with each.

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