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On Oct. 26, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced what may prove to be the most comprehensive piece of patent legislation in recent years. (See S. 1798 at thomas.loc.gov) On suspension of the rules, the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 passed the House of Representatives in August (see H.R. 1907 at thomas.loc.gov), and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the companion bill on Nov. 2, by an 18-0 vote.

It should shortly find its way to the Senate floor. S. 1798 is similar to House-passed H.R. 1907. The Senate bill omits the title on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) reorganization, adds a section requiring the General Accounting Office to study the quality of patents being granted on business methods and makes some clerical changes.

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