As we previously reported, the Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed a vote on proposed patent litigation reform legislation several times.  Now, the Senate is tabling the issue altogether due to an apparent lack of bi-partisan support for the provisions in the bill.  On Wednesday, Senator Leahy, the bill’s sponsor, announced that “there has been no agreement on how to combat the scourge of patent trolls on our economy without burdening the companies and universities who rely on the patent system every day to protect their inventions.”

Late last year, the House of Representatives passed the Innovation Act, a patent litigation reform bill that is aimed at reducing perceived abusive tactics by non-practicing entities (what some refer to as patent trolls) in patent litigation.  According to Senator Leahy, the Senate has “heard repeated concerns that the House-passed bill went beyond the scope of addressing patent trolls, and would have severe unintended consequences on legitimate patent holders who employ thousands of Americans.”

“I have said all along that we needed broad bipartisan support to get a bill through the Senate,” said Senator Leahy. “Regrettably, competing companies on both sides of this issue refused to come to agreement on how to achieve that goal.”  Therefore, “[b]ecause there is not sufficient support behind any comprehensive deal, I am taking the patent bill off the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda.”  “If the stakeholders are able to reach a more targeted agreement that focuses on the problem of patent trolls, there will be a path for passage this year and I will bring it immediately to the Committee.”