The most major revision of U.S. patent law since 1952 continues to wend its way through Congress. Starting as identical bills in the House and Senate, the bills as now pending differ considerably. Intense lobbying from major industry groups and other stakeholders will likely lead to still more changes before a bill can be sent to President Bush’s desk. Given the timing and political considerations, that seems less likely than it did just a few weeks ago.

In the latest chapter, the administration, through letters from Nathaniel F. Wienecke, the administration’s assistant secretary for legislation and governmental affairs, advised Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., ranking Republican member of that committee, that the administration would oppose the Senate bill as presently proposed.

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