50 most influential people in IP 2022: MIP recognises Patrick Leahy at the US Congress
Patrick Leahy is a senator for Vermont at the US Congress
The soon-to-be-retired senator for Vermont made waves this year when he essentially abandoned his Restoring the America Invents Act for more middle-ground legislation.
In June, Leahy, Senator Thom Tillis and Senator John Cornyn introduced the PTAB Reform Act – a 27-page document that would codify a director review process, stop patent challengers from filing simultaneous or repeated inter partes reviews, and do away with Fintiv, if enacted.
The bill was met with disdain from patent owners, which wanted the Fintiv rule to be preserved at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Nonetheless, it was a decent attempt at compromise.
Leahy and Tillis also introduced the Patent Examination and Quality Improvement Act earlier this year. The legislation, if enacted, would compel the government to evaluate prior and current initiatives and pilot programmes related to the quality of patents.
The bill would also make the government examine the need for greater clarity in terms of what constituted patent quality, the setting of patent quality metrics, and how the quality of work product performed by patent examiners was measured within the USPTO.
Leahy, the longest-serving US senator, will leave the government in January.
His track record on intellectual property – including his work on the America Invents Act – probably makes him the most influential US politician in IP of all time.