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Small business owners dread patent reform passage

Patrick Ross, Washington DC

With a top official of the USPTO saying the agency is prepared to begin enacting patent reform legislation as soon as mid-September, representatives of small business interests yesterday warned the America Invents Act could harm innovation

The Senate is scheduled to take up the House-passed version of HR-1249 on September 6, and it's likely the bill could be at the White House ready for signing by the end of that week.

At an event sponsored by the National Small Business Association, which opposes the bill, USPTO patent reform coordinator Janet Gongola said yesterday the agency has already created task forces and laid out timetables necessary for implementation.

The House bill under consideration fails to end the diversion of USPTO fees, although any fees the Office collects beyond its annual appropriation would be placed in a reserve fund.

Paul Michel, former chief judge for the US Court of Appeals for the...

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