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First-to-file challenged by conservatives

Patrick Ross, Washington DC

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has countered a challenge within his own party as to the constitutionality of the first-to-file provision of patent reform

Conservative organisations from the Eagle Forum to the American Conservative Union (ACU) wrote Capitol Hill earlier this year that, were Congress to shift to first-to-file, it would "exceed its constitutional authority and hamper our free- enterprise system".

Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly – who has adamantly opposed the Equal Rights Amendment since the 1970s - is urging Tea Party Members of Congress to oppose the bill, calling harmonisation with other countries on patent registration a "new dogma of globalism".

The bill's sponsor, Republican Lamar Smith of Texas, in a May 23 letter insisted the argument was baseless.


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