High hopes for a new law aimed at curbing patent troll abuses were all but dashed today when Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the judiciary committee, said he was taking a patent reform bill off the agenda.
Sen. Mike Lee
If you blinked, you might have missed President Obama's flyby support in his State of the Union for legislation to stop abusive patent troll practices. It amounted to one sentence early in the speech: "And let's pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly, needless litigation," Obama said Tuesday night.
A legislative solution to combat abusive patent troll tactics is well on its way to becoming law with House passage of the Innovation Act today. Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte's (R-Va.) bill, drafted with consultation from Senate judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), had strong bipartisan support easily delivering a 325-91 final vote.
After a marathon markup session that lasted into the evening, the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill targeting abusive patent troll practices. In a bipartisan 33-5 vote, the Innovation Act will now head to the House floor, where it has a good chance of passing.
The Senate Judiciary Committee today unanimously passed by voice vote an update to an aging email privacy law requiring law enforcement to obtain a warrant before accessing private online content. Co-sponsored by committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the bill now heads to the floor.
When the Internet speaks, Congress jumps. Only days after the White House came out in support of a White House petition to legalize cell phone unlocking, a number of lawmakers have taken up the cause and introduced legislation.