Senate Patent Reform Effort Placed Back on Calendar

Whether a favor to pro-reform lobbyists, or just wishful thinking, Senate Bill S.1137 (the “PATENT Act”) has been placed back on the Senate Calendar.  As a reminder, a Manager’s Amendment to the bill last spring included a pile of PTAB changes. The majority of these changes, as was expected when proposed, have since been mooted by similar USPTO rule proposals. The bill still includes the mooted PTAB proposals, as well as a host of other proposals (fee shifting in particular) that have received far more negative attention.  Like the PTAB proposals, the fee shifting proposal has also been undermined by intervening events such as Octane Fitness. (See Federal Circuit Bar Assoc. letter to the House on Octane impact here)

Absent significant, further mark-up, neither the House nor Senate bills seem likely to advance to vote.