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Smith and Leahy Get “Policymaker of the Year” Honors for Work on Patent Reform Bill

December 6, 2011

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) were given “Policymaker of the Year” honors in technology by the Capitol Hill publication POLITICO on Dec. 6 for their work in enacting patent reform legislation in 2011.  POLITICO honored Smith and Leahy at an event in Washington, D.C., in recognition of their efforts on the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249), the most important patent legislation in the United States since the 1952 Patent Act.

Other policymakers honored at the event included Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Policymaker of the Year in energy; and Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Policymaker of the Year in health care.

The America Invents Act, sponsored by Chairman Smith and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), is the only major tech legislation to become law in 2011.  This bill received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Obama on September 16, 2011.

In a Dec. 7 press release, Smith stated:

“The enactment of the America Invents Act is a victory for America’s innovators and job creators who rely on our patent system to develop new products. This bill brings our patent system into the 21st century, reduces frivolous litigation and streamlines the approval of patents. These reforms will help the innovators and job creators of today launch the products and businesses of tomorrow.”

“The America Invents Act is a bipartisan jobs initiative at a time when we need it the most.  It is an example of what Democrats and Republicans can do when we work together for the American people,” Leahy said of this historic legislation.


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