Seal of the U.S. Patent Office
Seal of the U.S. Patent Office - 
Listen To The Story


Doug Krizner: Sweeping patent-reform legislation goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee today. A similar bill got through the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. The consequences are huge for all kinds of American companies and for academics. Jeremy Hobson reports from Washington.

Jeremy Hobson: One side is led by pharmaceutical giants and biotech companies. It favors severe penalties for infringing on patents.

The other side, made up largely of high-tech companies, fears frivolous patent lawsuits will stifle innovation.

Steve Elmendorf lobbies for the Coalition for Patent Fairness.

Steve Elmendorf: It's millions and millions of dollars that's being spent on lawsuits and lawyers that could be better spent doing other things.

Both sides are spending millions lobbying Congress. So a nearly unanimous vote in the House Judiciary Committee yesterday was a big deal.

House Judiciary Meeting: All those in favor will signify by saying aye. AYE. Those opposed by saying no . . .

The ayes had it, and the vote was a win for high-tech.

Stanford Law Professor Mark Lemley says the issue is vital to America's future.

Mark Lemley: In the global economy of the 21st century, innovation and creativity are our competitive advantage. And so if we get this wrong, the consequences could be pretty dramatic.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson