Feeds

Senate decides patent reform is just too much work, waves white flag

Under pressure from lobbyists, Congresscritters throw up hands, table troll-tempering bill

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The US Senate has decided to call off its efforts to rid the US legal system of patent trolls, tabling proposed legislation to overhaul patent law.

Senator Patrick Leahy said on Wednesday that he would remove proposed patent legislation from the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda, effectively killing any effort by the Senate to come to an agreement on reforms that would curtail patent trolls.

"I have said all along that we needed broad bipartisan support to get a bill through the Senate," Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, said.

"Regrettably, competing companies on both sides of this issue refused to come to agreement on how to achieve that goal." Note his use of the word "companies" and not "senators", thus making it clear who's calling the shots on patent law.

Leahy had been sponsored a bill that would have sought to overhaul patent ownership and litigation systems, in the process helping to curb patent-holding firms who draw an income solely from collecting patents and suing companies for alleged infringement.

The legislation sought to build on momentum from the US House of Representatives, which in November of last year hammered out and later passed its own bipartisan bill to crack down on patent trolls and IP litigation.

According to The Hill, however, lobbyists opposed to the legislation leaned heavily on Senate committee members to curb the proposed bill.

"Unfortunately, there has been no agreement on how to combat the scourge of patent trolls on our economy without burdening the companies and universities who rely on the patent system every day to protect their inventions," Leahy said.

"We have heard repeated concerns that the House-passed bill went beyond the scope of addressing patent trolls, and would have severe unintended consequences on legitimate patent holders who employ thousands of Americans."

The explanation received a less than enthusiastic response from patent reform advocates who had been hoping the Senate could finally push a bill to the desk of the President.

"This is an issue that crosses both sides of the aisle; when small businesses are facing extortionate patent threats, politics must be set aside," wrote the EFF in response to the news.

"And Leahy has gone ahead and thrown that all away." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.