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Manager's amendment now included in H.R. 1249

In continuing coverage of the House Patent Reform Act, H.R. 1249, the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives approved the a bill in a 32-3 vote.

A managers amendment would have changed the definition of prior art to include only (1) patent applications and (2) public disclosures thus excluding non-informing uses, sales, and offers-to-sell as prior art.  However, that portion of the manager's amendment failed while the rest of the managers amendment is now included in H.R. 1249.

A copy of the bill as amended by the Committee can be found at:  http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/mark_04142011.html

Additional changes to the act include (see Markup Transcript):

  • A sunset provision on the USPTO Director's fee setting authority
  • The new post-grant supplemental examination procedure (designed to allow an applicant to wash away the threat of inequitable conduct charges) cannot be used if the applicant committed fraud on the patent office which was missed during the original prosecution.
  • The establishment of a pro bono programs between the USPTO and intellectual property law associations to help independent inventors navigate the complex patent process.
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