This week the House Judiciary Committee sent its version of the Patent Reform Act of 2007 to the full body for a vote.  The damages provisions that Federal Circuit Chief Judge Michel publicly spoke against remained in the House bill, but the controversial post-grant review process was removed completely, instead of being limited as many interested parties are suggesting.  The Senate continues to markup its version of the Patent Reform Act, but so far has tightened venue requirements and is debating the damages provisions.  The Patent Reform Act feels like a long breakaway in the Tour de France.*  When a group of riders is leading the peloton (the large group consisting of most of the riders in the race) they each want to win the day’s race, but in order to do that they must work together until the last 200-500 meters of what may be a 200 km ride.  If they stop cooperating before the last several hundred meters, they become disorganized, slow down and get swallowed by the peloton.  They are generally exhausted from their efforts in the breakaway and have no chance of winning once they rejoin the peloton — all of their individual efforts are thrown away because they stopped cooperating with their competitors too early.  Cooperating with competitors is difficult and counter-intuitive, but is often the only way to achieve individual success.  The Patent Reform Act is just such an effort, but it looks like the interested parties may not win this race.

You can read more about Congress’s deliberations at:

* Forgive the analogy, but I love the Tour and today is the first individual time trial of this year’s race.  Go Levi, Alberto & the rest of the Discovery Channel team!