By Dennis Crouch
With the passage of the Goodlatte Innovation Act (H.R. 3309), attention now moves to the Senate to consider a a roughly parallel bill. Several amendments passed during today's debate and we'll address those in a later post.
In the Senate, Senators Leahy (D-VT), Lee (R-UT), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Klobuchar (D-MN) have proposed the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720). In a prior essay, I called the Leahy-Lee proposal "more measured and limited" than the Goodlatte bill and "much more narrowly focused on egregious patent enforcement abuses."
One important element coming through this process is a clear lack of leadership from the PTO. Although former director David Kappos testified against the Goodlatte proposal, his golden air of credibility and executive authority has shifted since joining the Cravath firm. The PTO has been without a Senate-approved director February 1, 2013 and any new (yet unnamed) PTO director is weeks or months away.