House, Senate pass patent reform bills; industry opposes

WASHINGTON The House of Representatives has passed the Patent Reform Act by a vote of 220-175.

Along with its Senate counterpart, S. 1145, industry leaders have viewed the bill as a means of making the pharmaceutical industry a “much more friendly place for infringers,” said Biotechnology Industry Organization president and chief executive officer Jim Greenwood.

The organization opposes the bill because, it “puts a risk a whole host of innovators,” said Greenwood.  The Bush administration has concerns over the bill regarding limiting court discretion over awards and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association also has concerns over the bill according to president and chief executive officer Kathleen Jaeger.

The administration on Monday had criticized a provision changing how damages are calculated in infringement suits, criticizing the limiting of courts in determining damages. "Making this change to a reasonably well-functioning patent legal system is unwarranted and risks reducing the rewards from innovation—a result that would undercut the other useful reforms in this bill," it said in a statement.

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