US Chamber backs House patent reform bill


"The fees that PTO collects to review and approve patent application are supposed to be dedicated to PTO operation," Josten said. 

"However, fee diversion by Congress has hampered PTO’s efforts to hire and retain a sufficient number of qualified examiners and implement technological improvements necessary to ensure expeditious issuance of high quality patents."

The leadership of the House Appropriations and Budgets Committees along with members from both parties argue the change would make the patent office essentially autonomous and free from congressional oversight.

The issue has emerged as a late stumbling block for a bill that was first introduced in 2005 and was expected to reach the president's desk this summer. If the fee provision is stripped from the bill it could cause K Street's support to collapse.

The latest lawmakers to voice opposition to the bill include House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and former chairman Jim SensenbrennerFrank (Jim) James SensenbrennerRepublicans compare Ron Johnson to Joe McCarthy: NYT GOP puts pressure on Pelosi over Swalwell House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE (R-Wis.). Some members oppose the change from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file patent system and other provisions.

A coalition of supporters including tech and pharmaceutical firms wrote to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCruz on Boehner: 'I wear with pride his drunken, bloviated scorn' Boehner on Clinton impeachment: 'I regret that I didn't fight against it' Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday urging them to protect the provision.

Separately, lawmakers Reps. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEverybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big MORE (D-Ind.) and Dan Boren (D-Okla.) are circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter to House Judiciary Chairman and author Lamar Smith (R-Texas) urging support for the legislation.