House Judiciary passes patent-reform bill

Leahy hailed the committee's passage of the bill by pointing to the broad coalition of support for patent-reform legislation, indicating a bill will likely find its way to President Obama's desk in the near future.

"Patent reform is an important key to our economic recovery and will help America invent its way back to prosperity," Leahy said. "Patent reform is supported by Democrats and Republicans alike, by the Obama administration and by businesses, industries and manufacturers across the spectrum."

A large range of tech firms has lined up to support the bill, including IBM, Microsoft and GE. The drug companies are also strong supporters of the legislation. But some small inventors have complained the changes will reduce their incentives for innovation by favoring large corporations.