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Patent Overhaul Technical Corrections

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Members of the House, I rise in support, as well, of H.R. 6621 because it's a measure that improves the America Invents Act--the most significant reform to the Patent Act law since 1952--that was signed by President Obama last year.

As many of my colleagues may recall, I had concerns about the act as to whether it would benefit large multinationals at the expense of independent inventors, and thereby harm job creation in our Nation. For this reason, I opposed the version of the patent bill that was considered by the House last year; but given the fact that this bill is now law, our focus should be on how it can be improved. That's why I support it presently, because it accomplishes that very goal in several respects.

To begin with, this law clarifies that the Advice of Counsel section applies to civil actions commenced on or after the date of this legislation's enactment. Why is that important? Well, because the America Invents Act created a new section that prevents use of evidence of an accused infringer's failure to obtain advice of counsel, or his failure to waive privilege and introduce such opinion, to prove either willfulness or intent to induce infringement. This provision, however, failed to specify when the new authority would go into effect, and it makes a series of other technical clarifications to the act.

In addition, we find that this bill is necessary and has made the necessary commonsense technical corrections and involves including any substantive revisions to the act. So it's my hope that the Judiciary Committee will continue its oversight of the act into the next Congress and consider ways in which it can be further improved.

I commend the chairman of the committee for his moving this bill forward, and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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