Bill Delayed for Stakeholder Feedback

With June’s flurry of Senate hearings on the subject of patentable subject matter (i.e., 35 U.S.C. § 101), the previously announced plan was to release a draft reform bill in July. The draft was to be based on the outline of the framework discussed in the earlier hearings. Of course, July came and went without a bill as sponsors struggled with, among other issues, the functional claiming control (112 provision) included in the proposed framework. (Critics argued, incorrectly, that the 112 provision would somehow impact every patent).

Since that time, the leaders of the Senate subcommittee on intellectual property, Senators Coons (D-DE) and Tillis (R-SC) have conducted further stakeholder roundtable meetings to discuss their revised draft, intending to release a draft bill sometime this month. Given the influx of campaign contributions to Sens Coons and Tillis (Pharma PACs in particular), and both senators being up for reelection in 2020, one can expect the 101 reform effort to remain on the front-burner.