ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

House passes patent reform bill

June 24, 2011 1:18 AM UTC

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 304-117 to pass the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (H.R. 1249). The lawmakers also passed by a vote of 283-140 a manager's amendment from Judiciary Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-Texas) that would end diversion of fees from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office but would require the PTO to wait for subsequent congressional appropriations acts to access excess funds. Much of the money the PTO collects from fees is currently diverted to fund other parts of the government.

In March, the U.S. Senate voted 95-5 to pass S. 23, its version of the bill. That legislation would allow the PTO to use all the money it collects from fees without fiscal year limitations (see BioCentury Extra, March 8). ...