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Smith's Patent Reform Bill Passes Judiciary Committee

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Smith's Patent Reform Bill Passes Judiciary Committee

The Committee on the Judiciary today passed Ranking Member Lamar Smith's (R-TX) "Patent Reform Act of 2007" (H.R. 1908) by a voice vote. The bill represents the most significant update to patent law since the 1952 Act was written.

"Few issues are as important to the economic strength of the United States as our ability to create and protect intellectual property," stated Ranking Member Smith. "The Patent Reform Act of 2007 updates current law to better protect intellectual property, enhance patent quality and increase public confidence in the integrity of patents."

The Act implements a first-to-file standard consistent with international practice, creates a post-grant opposition system to weed out bad patents, clarifies how damages are determined in valid disputes and reduces the number of frivolous lawsuits.

"All businesses, small and large, will benefit from this bill," Smith continued.

"The Act helps individuals and companies obtain money for research, commercialize inventions, expand businesses and create new jobs," added Smith. "American IP industries account for over half of all U.S. exports, represent 40 percent of the country's economic growth and employ 18 million Americans. A recent study valued U.S. intellectual property at $5 trillion dollars - or about half of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product."

"IP industries not only drive a significant part of the American economy, but also provide millions of Americans with well-paying jobs," said Smith. "The Patent Reform Act protects intellectual property by addressing critical weaknesses in the current law and eliminating the legal gamesmanship that rewards lawsuit abuses over creativity."

"Protecting the ideas and inventions of individuals and businesses expands the American economy," Smith concluded. "I am pleased with today's decision and look forward to the Act's approval on the House floor in the coming weeks."

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