House group wants patent reform vote to wait until 2014

A bipartisan group of four representatives are asking House leadership to hold off on patent reform until next year.

In a letter on Monday, Democratic Reps. John Conyers (Mich.) and Mel Watt (N.C.) as well as Republican Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky), Mo Brooks (Ala.) and Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.) asked their colleagues to keep the Innovation Act, authored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), from reaching the House floor.

ADVERTISEMENT
The letter come as the House is expected to consider the Innovation Act this week. On Tuesday, the House Rules Committee is scheduled to consider the bill and the 26 amendments filed to it since it passed the Judiciary Committee 33-5 last month.

Conyers — ranking member of the Judiciary Committee — and Watt — ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property — voted against the bill during the November markup, citing concerns about how the bill would affect courts' authority.

In Monday's letter, the group of lawmakers asked recipients to urge House leaders and the Rules Committee to keep the bill “from House floor consideration until all House Members have had a reasonable opportunity to study this legislation, consider and prepare any amendments they regard as worthy of offering, and seek input from interested constituents.”

“This bill should not come to the floor in 2013,” they said.

The group criticized the timing of the bill, saying that the two weeks between the Judiciary markup in November and the expected floor vote this week “allows Members about five days at best to look at the legislation as passed after the committee amended it.”

Members need more time to analyze the bill and craft amendments, the letter said.

“All Members deserve a fair opportunity to examine and carefully consider the effects of a bill regarding a complex subject like the nexus of the patent and litigation systems.”