Will Brown’s victory derail patent reform?

BY CCIA Staff
January 25, 2010

Scott Brown’s recent Senate victory sent shockwaves well beyond the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It ended the Democrats’ filibuster proof majority, and makes broad efforts at reform a challenge.

As we’ve noted repeatedly, President Obama has provided a welcome commitment to reforming the patent system. If Democrats are no longer able to push proposals through the Senate, how will this affect patent reform? IP Watchdog’s Gene Quinn recently chimed in with his opinion. In particular, he said this will likely make Congress focus on issues where there is broad consensus like more funding for the Patent Office and skip those that are controversial such as the broader reform bill.

Do you agree that the odds of patent reform in 2010 have diminished with Brown’s ascension to the Senate? If healthcare becomes a no-go, could the Democrats turn to patent reform as an issue where they can garner bi-partisan support? Our two cents: the latter is likely true. Although previous patent reform efforts haven’t crossed the finish line, there has been bi-partisan, bicameral support for significant reform.

We simply cannot place patent reform on the back burner. The need for patent reform is unquestionable. We must rebalance, strengthen and enhance the current patent system to drive cutting-edge innovation that in turn drives our knowledge-based economy. At a time when our economy continues to struggle, partisan battles should not stand in the way of changes that will spur economic growth, investment, job creation, technological progress and innovation.

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