Senate votes to strip down patent reform bill

The Senate voted on Tuesday to strip controversial provisions out of a bipartisan bill to revamp the U.S. patent system and clear a years long backlog of patent applications.

The vote was 97 in favor and two opposed.

Senators Patrick Leahy, Charles Grassley and Jon Kyl, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, proposed stripping from the bill a measure that gives judges a major role in determining how important a particular patent is to a product, so that infringing minor patents would not lead to huge damages.

They also took out a provision barring the practice of maneuvering to file patent infringement lawsuits in courts known to be friendly to plaintiffs.

On both issues, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which specializes in patent appeals, has issued rulings that go a long way toward ending the problem of juries in plaintiff-friendly districts giving out-sized damage awards.

Read the complete Reuters story, "Senate votes to strip down patent reform bill."

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