Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is Chairwoman of the Senate Small Business Committee.  Sen. Landrieu has introduced The Small Business Patent Data Collection Act of 2010 after concerns about how the Senate patent reform bill will impact small businesses.  Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employers, employing 1/2 of the U.S. labor force.

The bill directs the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy to conduct a study in consultation with the U.S. PTO to analyze how changes to the current system will impact the ability of small businesses to obtain patents, whether the change would create barriers, and how it will impact the costs and benefits to small businesses overall.

S. 3089

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. STUDY AND REPORT OF PATENT LAW CHANGES.

(a) Definitions.—In this section—

  1. the term “Chief Counsel” means the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration; and
  2. the term “small business concern” has the meaning given that term under section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632).

(b) Study.—

  1. IN GENERAL.—The Chief Counsel, in consultation with the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, shall conduct a study of the effects of changing from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file invention priority system under patent law under title 35 of the United States Code.
  2. AREAS OF STUDY.—The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall include examination of the effects of changing from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file invention priority system, including examining—

(A) how the change would affect the ability of small business concerns to obtain patents;
(B) whether the change would create or exacerbate any disadvantage for applicants for patents that are small business concerns relative to applicants for patents that are not small business concerns; and
(C) the costs and benefits to small business concerns of the change.

(c) Report.—Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Chief Counsel shall submit to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives a report regarding the results of the study under subsection (b).

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