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Patent Overhaul Technical Corrections

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WATT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6621, as amended.

(Mr. WATT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. WATT. And with having been granted that unanimous consent, I think I can submit substantially all of my statement into the Record. However, I did want to acknowledge the outstanding stewardship of Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the director of the Patent and Trademark Office, David Kappos, and his remarkable staff for their tireless efforts both in getting patent reform across the finish line and in the timely implementation of its provisions.

In connection with these amendments to the bill, Director Kappos has announced that he intends to leave the Patent and Trademark Office in January. He will leave behind a long line of achievements and good will that were instrumental throughout this process, and he will leave behind a Patent and Trademark Office that is much better respected and equipped to serve the important purpose of recognizing and protecting our important intellectual property than the office was before he arrived there. His successor, no doubt, will have some big shoes to fill. And we wish Director Kappos all our best in all of his future endeavors.

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Mr. Speaker, after concerted effort over at least three terms of Congress, last year we completed a major overhaul of our patent system designed to afford American inventors with a more efficient, effective, and well-resourced patent office. President Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act into law on September 16, 2011. Since that time the PTO has been diligently working to implement the provisions of the Act which approved significant reforms designed to simplify the process for acquiring patents, enhance patent quality, reduce costs, improve fairness and make it easier for American inventors to market their products in the global marketplace.

As with almost every piece of major legislation, the need for technical corrections and improvements became obvious after passage. H.R. 6621 goes a long way towards addressing the concerns which have been identified by staff, the patent office and various stakeholders in the time since the law's enactment.

Among the provisions addressed by H.R. 6621, important adjustments have been made to ensure that inadvertent ``dead zones,'' in which post grant review proceedings could not be initiated as intended, are eliminated. H.R. 6621 will also tighten language to prevent dilatory tactics and gamesmanship in the newly created derivation proceedings. A third fundamental correction involves PTO funding and will guarantee that all PTO administrative costs will be covered either by patent fees or trademark fees.

While there are other provisions of the America Invents Act that will likely require legislative corrections or adjustments, this bill, like the underlying Act, enjoys bipartisan support and should be passed.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to acknowledge the outstanding stewardship of Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the PTO, David Kappos, and his remarkable staff for their tireless efforts both in getting patent reform across the finish line and in the timely implementation of its provisions. Director Kappos has announced that he intends to leave the PTO in January. He will leave behind a long line of achievements and good will that were instrumental throughout this process and he will leave behind a Patent and Trademark office that is much better respected and equipped to serve the important purpose of recognizing and protecting our important intellectual property than it was when he arrived. His successor, no doubt, will have some big shoes to fill. We wish Director Kappos the best in all his future endeavors.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I urge support for H.R. 6621.

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