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The United States patent statutes have remained essentially the same since 1952. That may soon change. The Patent Reform Act of 2007 introduced in Congress on April 18 proposes extensive changes that would reform the law governing how patents are obtained and enforced.

While patent reform acts introduced in recent years have languished in Congress, the Patent Reform Act of 2007 is a bipartisan, bicameral effort that appears to have enough support to become law. These bills also have the backing of numerous corporations and industry groups who believe many invalid patents are being granted and that patent litigation is out of control. This article discusses two significant changes proposed in the Patent Reform Act of 2007 and how those changes may impact patent rights.

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