White House backs patent reform bill as debate continues

"The bipartisan America Invents Act is too important to be turned into a mere vehicle to launch speeches and debates about pet causes." 

Leahy said he believes the first-to-file change "should help small and independent inventors," despite objections from industry groups representing those constituencies. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has indicated she may offer an amendment to change that provision, prompting Leahy to welcome a debate.

"I understand that there may be senators who do not agree with the first-to-file reform to update and simplify our system. If they intend to bring an amendment, they should do so without delay," Leahy said.

Additionally, Leahy offered a managers' amendment on Tuesday that cuts application fees in half for small entities requesting an expedited patent examination. The amendment also requires the establishment of three new USPTO satellite offices in addition to the Detroit office announced in December.