Reid: Patent reform bill on agenda after recess

The Senate will take up the House's version of a bipartisan patent reform bill immediately after its summer recess in hopes of putting a bill on the president's desk before the fall.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the patent-reform bill will be the first to move after the recess, as part of a package of legislation designed to boost job creation. Reid and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the bill, which attempts to speed patent applications, is expected to create 200,000 jobs.

Reid said he will file cloture on that Tuesday so the Senate can take up the bill immediately after reconvenes in September. The bill would switch the U.S. to a first-to-file system in line with most other industrial nations.

Leahy, the bill's sponsor, said there is bipartisan agreement with the GOP to move the bill in the Senate. House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) championed the House patent reform legislation and helped engineer a compromise after a late debate over the U.S. Patent Office keeping the fees it collects threatened to scuttle the bill.

The bill has drawn opposition from small inventors, and some provisions are controversial, such as one that would make it easier to challenge business method patents. But the legislation has wide-ranging support from industry, both parties, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the White House.