Patent reform suffered a massive setback when Senator Patrick Leahy, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, announced that he is taking patent reform “off the agenda.” We understand that other senators—particularly Sens. Chuck Schumer and John Cornyn—were still working hard to reach a bipartisan deal. Just as they were ready to release a new bill, Leahy stepped in to kill the process.
The Senate’s failure is especially galling given that the House overwhelmingly passed theInnovation Act in December. The strong patent reform bill passed with a 325-91 vote that included a majority of both Republicans and Democrats. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama was slated to be the “great slayer of patent trolls.” This is an issue that crosses both sides of the aisle; when small businesses are facing extortionate patent threats, politics must be set aside. And Leahy has gone ahead and thrown that all away.