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President Pushes For Patent Reform In State Of The Union Address

The State of the Union Address is the time for the President and the nation to reflect on the previous year and plot the course for the future. And last night, President Obama highlighted an issue that we at Rackspace hold near and dear when he called for Congress to take action on a patent reform bill he said will empower businesses to focus on innovation without the fear of being targeted by patent trolls.

“We know that the nation that goes all-in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow,” the President said during last night’s address. “This is an edge America cannot surrender. Federally-funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind Google and smartphones. That’s why Congress should undo the damage done by last year’s cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery – whether it’s vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria, or paper-thin material that’s stronger than steel. And let’s pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly, needless litigation.”

Already, we’ve seen the Innovation Act (HR 3309), a patent reform bill from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate Judiciary Committee is working on its version of patent reform legislation, and we are hopeful that the Senate passes legislation soon that includes the best of the bills authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

While the President has publicly called for patent reform in the past, the inclusion of patent reform in the State of the Union Address points a high-profile, far-reaching spotlight on the issue. We are grateful for President Obama’s support.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Alan Schoenbaum.

Alan Schoenbaum is Special Counsel for Rackspace.

Prior to joining Rackspace in 2005, he was a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in San Antonio, Texas. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in corporate and securities law and mergers and acquisitions. Throughout his legal career he has represented public and private growth companies, venture capital funds and their portfolio companies. Alan received his B.A. in English and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.


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