By Gautham Nagesh - 03/30/11 08:17 PM EDT
The House bill would also allow the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to keep the fees it collects and use the money to hire additional examiners to address a backlog of more than a million patent applications.
"The America Invents Act introduced in the House tracks closely with its bipartisan counterpart that recently passed the Senate," said Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who sponsored the bill that passed the upper chamber.
"The similarity in the bills is no coincidence. We have been working on a bicameral, bipartisan basis for six years now, and the Senate bill, which overwhelming passed earlier this month, was structured on the original patent reform bill introduced by Chairman Smith in 2005."
Steve Miller, general counsel for intellectual property at Proctor & Gamble told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property that his firm and other stakeholders are concerned about certain provisions in the bill, such as the addition of a post-grant review process he argued could cause delays and uncertainty.