House passes patent reform, the “Leahy-Smith America Invents Act”

The Bill labeled as “patently unfair to inventors” by Rep. Conyers (D-MI) withstood lively debate on constitutionality, its reportedly favoring big business over the small inventor, and Sen. Schumer’s (D-NY) infamous Sec. 18, the special interest section designed to give financial institutions an easier path to challenging business methods patents, was passed late yesterday by a comfortable margin.

The Senate Bill and House Bill are not identical, but from here it looks as if the funding compromise worked out in the House will satisfy the Senate (the House maintains its constitutionally-granted appropriations authority, but the PTO gets its own Treasury account with dedicated funds), and the President will soon see the first patent law in sixty years.