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The Honorable Patrick Leahy
United States Senator
Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
Today, we continue our work on a priority legislative matter within this Committee's jurisdiction--patent reform. Patent reform is an important way that this Committee can contribute to restoring our economic engine and supporting economic recovery. Innovation and American inventors have been suffering from an outdated patent system.
When this Committee began meeting last Thursday, the consensus was emerging. Senator Hatch, Senator Feinstein, Senator Specter and Senator Kyl all echoed what I have long believed - there is no question that patent reform is urgently needed.
Senators Feinstein, Specter and I have come to an agreement in principle on the key issues that have remained contentious for so long. The principles center on the gatekeeper concept for damages that Senators Feinstein and Specter have developed. As I said when we began consideration of this bill on Thursday, the compromise bill we end up with may not include all the changes that I supported, nor may it include all the changes that others on this Committee would like to see, but it will make important progress in modernizing our patent system.
Today, I hope the Committee will adopt another bipartisan amendment. This one addresses issues raised by Senator Grassley and Senator Coburn. They have been important contributors to the Committee's consideration of the Patent Reform Act, and I am pleased to be able to include their amendments.