The Senate Judiciary Committee will be scheduling additional staff hearings in the coming weeks on the potential impact of the proposed Patent Transparency & Improvement Act. The additional briefings are responsive to concerns of “unintended consequences” expressed during the last hearing, which was held in late December 2013. The additional hearings are expected to explore the concerns of universities, small innovators and new, smaller targets of evolving patent troll tactics.
With the House passing the Goodlatte Bill in short order at the close of 2013, Patent reform remains a hot issue. It is expected that Congress will continue to move forward at an accelerated pace so that some type of “reforms” can be in enacted into law in the first half of 2014. Given the fast track, it seems unlikely that major changes will be made to the Bill at this point in the legislative process.