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Statement of Administration Policy: S. 23 - Patent Reform Act of 2011

February 28, 2011



(Sen. Leahy, D-Vermont, and 11 cosponsors)

The Administration supports Senate passage of S. 23. As a whole, this bill represents a fair, balanced, and necessary effort to improve patent quality, enable greater work sharing between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and other countries, improve service to patent applicants and the public at the USPTO, and offer productive alternatives to costly and complex litigation.

By moving the United States to a first-to-file system, the bill simplifies the process of acquiring rights. This essential provision will reduce legal costs, improve fairness, and support U.S. innovators seeking to market their products and services in a global marketplace. Further, by providing authority for the USPTO to establish and adjust its fees to reflect changes in costs, demand, and workload, the bill would enhance productivity – reducing delay in the patent application process – and ensure full cost recovery at no taxpayer expense. Senate passage of this bill is consistent with the Administration's commitment to support and encourage innovation that leads to improved competiveness, economic prosperity, and job growth – without adding a penny to the deficit.

Finally, the Administration understands that several stakeholders have suggested that the provisions on damages and venue are no longer needed in the legislation in light of recent court decisions in these areas. The Administration would not object to removal of these provisions from the final version of the legislation.

The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with the Congress to craft patent reform legislation that reflects sound policy and meets the needs of the Nation's innovators.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: S. 23 - Patent Reform Act of 2011 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project