Press Releases

Conyers Calls on Senate to Remove Section 18 from Patent Bill Before Floor Action

Washington, DC, July 5, 2011

Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) requested that the Senate not bring H.R. 1249, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to the Senate floor unless Section 18, the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents is removed. 

“Section 18 is bad policy for our country and the retroactive application of this provision is unfair and inappropriate,” Conyers said. “It is another unnecessary bank bailout.  Section 18 should be removed from the entire bill before any Senate floor consideration.”

A July 4th article published in the New York Times, “In a Bill, Wall Street Shows its Clout,” states that numerous groups oppose this provision because it “is perhaps the most blatant demonstration of the lobbying power of Wall Street and just as important, the willingness of Congress to support the interest of the banks, even in the face of clear evidence that the law has no purpose other than to benefit the financial services industry.”

Several groups oppose Section 18 of H.R. 1249 because it provides large banks a special, new bailout at the expense of inventors and the American taxpayer, and even worse, would do so on a retroactive basis.  Section 18 establishes an unprecedented review procedure which would provide a “third bite at the apple” to attack a targeted group of financially-related business method patents that previously have been upheld through multiple examination, re-examination, and trial proceedings.