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Public Statements

Correcting and Improving the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or AIA, was signed into law on September 16, 2011. It was the first major patent reform bill in over 60 years and the most substantial reform of U.S. patent law since the 1836 Patent Act. The Leahy-Smith AIA reestablishes the United States patent system as the global standard.

Over the past year, the Patent Office has worked diligently to implement the provisions of the Leahy-Smith AIA in order to ensure that the bill realizes its full potential to promote innovation and create jobs. The bill that we consider today includes several technical corrections and improvements that ensure that the implementation of the bill can proceed efficiently and effectively. The bill is supported by all sectors of our economy from all across the United States, including manufacturers, universities, technology, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and innovators.

As the provisions of the Leahy-Smith AIA continue to take effect, our Nation's innovation infrastructure becomes much stronger, unleashing the full potential of American innovators and job creators, so I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or ``AIA,'' was signed into law on September 16, 2011. It was the first major patent reform bill in over 60 years and the most substantial reform of U.S. patent law since the 1836 Patent Act. The Leahy-Smith AIA re-establishes the United States patent system as a global standard.

Over the past year the Patent Office has worked diligently to implement the provisions of the Leahy-Smith AIA to ensure that the bill realizes its full potential to promote innovation and create jobs.

The bill that we consider today includes several technical corrections and improvements that ensure that the implementation of the bill can proceed efficiently and effectively.

The bill is supported by all sectors of our economy from all across the United States, including manufacturers, universities, technology, pharmaceutical and biotech companies and innovators.

I have also received letters in support from: the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform, which represents manufacturers, pharmaceutical, technology, defense companies and universities; the Innovation Alliance, which represents high tech companies and licensors; and the BSA: The Software Alliance, which represents a range of high technology and software companies.

The Leahy-Smith AIA fundamentally changes our nation's innovation infrastructure. With any such substantive and wide-ranging legislation, unforeseen issues may arise as implementation occurs.

H.R. 6621 corrects many of these issues. This package consists of several technical corrections to the AIA that are essential to the effective implementation of the Act.

Other technical corrections and improvements may arise in the future; for example, the issue surrounding the correction of the Post-Grant Review estoppel provision in the Leahy-Smith AIA.

This was the result of an inadvertent ``scrivener's error,'' an error that was made by legislative counsel. That technical error has resulted in an estoppel provision with a higher threshold than was intended by either house of Congress.

Additionally, we must remain watchful as we examine ways to deal with the abusive and frivolous litigation that American innovators face from patent assertion entities or patent trolls.

The modified bill passed by the Senate takes out the report on pre-GATT patents. Even though the report is no longer mandated, it is within PTO's existing authority to conduct such a study, and I would call on them to do so.

As the provisions of the Leahy-Smith AIA continue to take effect, our nation's innovation infrastructure becomes much stronger, unleashing the full potential of American innovators and job creators.

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