WASHINGTON - With time running out this year, Majority Leader Trent Lott late last week tried to breathe new life into S. 507, the Senate bill that would turn the Patent and Trademark Office into a government corporation and address concerns that current law could limit the patent terms for innovations in cutting edge fields such as biotechnology.

Similar legislation, H.R. 400, was enacted by the House in April. But despite the support of Lott (R-Miss.) and Minority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.), as well as the Clinton administration, S. 507 has not been brought to the Senate floor because several Republicans oppose it for diverse reasons.