Senate Judiciary Committee to Consider Patent Reform Bill


On February 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the patent reform bill introduced on January 25 by Senator Patrick Leahy, who is chairman of the Committee. Senator Leahy's bill (S.23) contains numerous modifications to the patent statute, including damages reform.

The damages reform in S.23 is identical to the modifications Senator Leahy introduced last year in a Manager's Amendment. Last year, Senator Leahy summarized the damages changes in the Manager's Amendment as follows:

The bipartisan Managers' Amendment makes the following changes to current law: * * * - Includes a more robust, procedural, gate keeping role for the court, pursuant to which judges will assess the legal basis for the specific damages theories and jury instructions sought by the parties. The gate keeping provisions will ensure consistency, uniformity, and fairness in the way that courts administer patent damages law.

For a comprehensive analysis of legislative damages reform, and for links to the Congressional patent reform bills, including the Manager's Amendment, you can take a look at Fish & Richardson's legislative reform web page that's specific to patent damages: