The Judiciary committee has postponed its scheduled April 8 markup of the patent reform bill.
In it's executive business meeting last week, Senator Leahy indicated they were shooting for April 8 to markup the bill. But the action was postponed. And significantly, no executive manager's meeting was held at all. It had been anticipated that if legislators hit a snag, they would at least talk about progress in such a meeting today. The lack of a meeting could be a sign either that there is significant contention in the committee, or it may mean they are too busy hammering out the final details to take the time. It is hoped that markup may be scheduled for Thursday, April 8.
There are indications that the two sides - those wanting substantial reform and those only wanting a limited measure - are having trouble coming together on a compromise. Not surprisingly, the most effective measure, fee-shifting, is the one that is causing most of the trouble.
Another effective measure, covered business method expansion, was killed off at just this point in the legislative process on the House side - right before markup. Many in Silicon Valley and on Main Street are watching closely to see if the same fate befalls fee-shifting. Just last week, in a Google hangout, Senator Schumer stated that reform advocates should make sure their Senators knew how they felt in order to "not let the usual political B.S. get in the way..."