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Lawmakers gear up for patent system overhaul
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Written by Gizmo   
Monday, 19 February 2007 07:58
After years of failed attempts at revamping what the high-tech industry decries as a broken U.S. patent system, a key House of Representatives panel is gearing up for yet another try.

Read the full story at ZDNet: 

At an afternoon hearing here, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the new chairman of a House Judiciary subcommittee that writes intellectual property laws, did not attempt to mask his intentions. Not only did the panel title the event "American Innovation at Risk: The Case for Patent Reform," but its lineup of four outside speakers consisted exclusively of attorneys and academics who have publicly recommended various fundamental changes to the way patents are granted and contested.

"This is not intended as a hearing to get all the different interested parties (to speak)," Berman said in his opening remarks. Rather, he said he was more inclined to bring in people who, in his view, could make the case "to make patent reform a high priority on my agenda."

It's neither a new nor a partisan objective. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who previously headed the intellectual property panel, also proposed sweeping changes. Speaking at Thursday's hearing, Smith even referred to the intellectual-property panel an "oasis" in which politicians have more policy goals in common than usual.

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