Politicians on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill say that before they pass new legislation to subject states to federal intellectual property laws, they want the IP community to come to a consensus that doesn’t violate sovereign immunity.

Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., made a formal request in mid-February for hearings on a bill he proposed last fall that attempts to circumvent recent Supreme Court rulings immunizing states from suit for patent infringement or false-advertising violations under the Lanham Act. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank, 527 U.S. 627 (1999), and College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board, 527 U.S. 627 (1999).

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