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Mr. William L. LaFuze, Partner, Vinson & Elkins, LLP, and Chair, Section
of Intellectual Property Law, American Bar Association, on behalf of the
American Bar Association and the ABA Section of Intellectual Property
Prepared Statement of the Honorable Bob Goodlatte, a Representative in
Congress from the State of Virginia
in Congress from the State of California, and Ranking Member, Sub-
Memorandum to the Honorable Lamar Smith, a Representative in Congress
from the State of Texas, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Courts, the
Deere & Company
& Standards, U.S. Philips Corporation
Blaine Merritt, Chief Counsel, Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and
COMMITTEE PRINT REGARDING
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2005
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY,
Washington, DC. The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 4:38 p.m., in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, the Honorable Lamar Smith (Chair of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. SMITH. The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will come to order.
We appreciate all the interest demonstrated by all the folks today. This is an important hearing. It is the first of several hearings on the subject, but I'm glad for everyone's interest.
Also, let me say that there is a concurrent Members-only briefing on Iraq that is being given by the Secretary of Defense, and I know we've lost several Members to that activity. Nevertheless, it doesn't diminish from what is said nor the importance of the meeting itself.
I'll recognize myself for an opening statement and then recognize the Ranking Member, and then we'll get to our witnesses as soon thereafter as possible.
This hearing is the first of two that we will conduct this month on patent reform. More specifically, today the Subcommittee will explore the merits of a committee print that incorporates a number of changes to improve the quality of patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The print also speaks to certain patent practices that disrupt the operations of manufacturers and other businesses.
The Subcommittee will hold its second hearing on the print next week and a third hearing on a bill that I will introduce shortly after that.
While the Subcommittee has documented a steady increase in application pendency and backlogs at the PTO in recent years, the consensus view among agency officials and the inventor community is that efforts to address these problems should not take precedent over improving patent quality.
Patents of questionable scope or validity waste valuable resources by inviting third party challenges and ultimately discourage private sector investment.