Watching U.S. Patent Reform From Abroad

By July 25, 2007Economy

Representatives Michael Michaud (D-ME) and Don Manzullo (R-IL) have circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter that draws attention to an Indian newspaper’s take on the Patent Reform Act. (A copy of the letter here.) The piece in Monday’s “Economic Times” does make one sit up with alarm, that’s for sure — “Local cos can eye patents in US“:

NEW DELHI: A Crucial bill making its way through the US Congress is set to give a new inexpensive option for Indian drug makers to attack the patents that give monopoly rights to top-selling MNC brands in the largest pharmaceutical market.

The bill passed by the judiciary committees of the House and the Senate last week, for a sweeping overhaul of the US patent system, allows an interested party to invalidate patents outside a court of law. They could approach the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for this after the patent is issued.

“The patent reform is beneficial to Indian companies as they are usually not patent holders and are often excluded from the US market by the threat from weak patents,” said US-based intellectual property law firm Darby & Darby PC’s Washington DC Office managing principal Dr Raj S Dave.

The House bill is H.R. 1908, and the Senate bill is S. 1145. CNET covered the nuts and bolts of the legislation in this story Monday, “US presses ahead with patent reforms.”

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