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US House of Representatives Votes To Give Patent Office More Autonomy

On Tuesday the US House of Representatives approved legislation providing the United States Patent and Trademark Authority greater autonomy in setting its own policies..

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been granted right to set its own fees and exercise better control over the system is uses to regulate patents by a unanimous vote in the House, revamping the 60 year old patent system, the Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab) reports. (opens in new tab)

The new legislation will allow the US Patent and Trademark Office to start clearing out a backlog of 700,000 patent requests. The decision may also give relief to applicants who have had to wait for three years or more to hear back regarding pending patents.

“Modernizing our patent system to protect our nation’s innovators, discourage frivolous lawsuits, and expedite patent reviews is a key part of the Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators,” said John Boehner, the speaker and an Ohio Republican.

The legislation marked H.R. 1249 passed with 304 to 117 votes. It is also supported by the Obama administration. The approved legislation will be reviewed by senate authorities before going to President Obama’s desk to be signed.

The new proposal is backed by big names in the tech industry along with the US Chamber of Commerce.