Judiciary Committee Ponders Patent Changes

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Following in the wake of RIM’s most recent patent lawsuit and the Supreme Court’s decision in the eBay case, the leaders of an intellectual property panel within the Judiciary Committee convened a hearing Tuesday afternoon to discuss the need for new patent legislation and patent litigation reform. Tuesday’s hearing focused mainly on discussing whether the creation of a new system in which the public could challenge the validity of patents just after they are granted in a venue outside of court would fix America’s patent problem. The proposed window for challenging new patents wavered between nine months and a year.

The panel was chaired by Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) and have representitives from the tech, pharmaceutical and finance sectors, as well as input from independent investors and the academic world. “What we’re going to do is sift through this and see what we can do to try and be fair and yet honest and decent and hopefully come up with something that will be suitable for most people,” Hatch said.

I’m sure RIM is watching this very carefully, but I’m also sure they’re thinking: we’ll believe it when we see it.