Patent laws must be modernised

IBM backs major patent legislation in the US

IBM today called for swift passage of patent reform legislation, describing it as essential to enabling the nation’s continued innovation leadership, bolstering U.S. competitiveness in the global economy, and stimulating economic growth and job creation.

IBM affirmed its backing of the Patent Reform Act of 2009 just days after the Obama administration indicated its support for the bill, which is pending before the U.S. Senate.

IBM believes that the compromises adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a bipartisan 15-4 vote in April strike a careful balance among various users of the U.S. patent system. IBM strongly supports this compromise legislation to modernize the nation’s patent laws.

“Technology and the nature of innovation have changed dramatically over the last half-century, but our patent laws have not been significantly updated,” said Robert Weber, senior vice president, Legal and Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel, IBM. “We congratulate Secretary Locke and the Administration for their leadership in supporting S. 515 and we urge swift enactment of the patent reform legislation.”

S. 515, sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, would improve patent quality, help reduce unproductive litigation, and better harmonize the US patent system with those of other countries.

“The debate over patent reform has been both lengthy and constructive, but now it is time to act,” added Weber. “Chairman Leahy and other senators have crafted a compromise that enjoys broad support and deserves prompt passage. We support and commend the Chairman’s leadership and his pledge to work with the Majority Leader to schedule Senate debate before the end of this year.”

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Patent laws must be modernised