In a speech to the ABA Antitrust Section Fall Forum on November 18, 2004 in Washington, DC, The Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras said this about her agency's patent reform agenda:
"Along with the National Academy of Sciences (â€œNASâ€�) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (â€œAIPLAâ€�), the FTC will co-sponsor four town meetings on patent reform in 2005. Since the FTC issued its report on competition and patent law in October 2003, there have been three noteworthy developments relating to it. First, the NAS issued a report advocating several patent reforms similar to those recommended by the FTC, as well as additional
patent reforms. Second, patent law organizations such as the AIPLA have issued reports reacting favorably to several of the FTCâ€™s proposed reforms. And finally, Congressmen Boucher and Berman introduced a bill, H.R. 5299, that would implement versions of two of the proposed reforms â€“ a new post-grant opposition system and certain limitations on liability for willful infringement â€“ recommended by the FTC, NAS, and AIPLA.
We believe it likely that Congress will discuss patent reform in the next session. To help lay the groundwork for this discussion, we have structured our patent reform workshops as town meetings. To encourage broad participation from businesses, independent inventors, patent practitioners, and others, we will hold the town meetings in three different locations â€“ San Jose, Chicago, and Boston â€“ in February and March, 2005. We will conclude with a program in
Washington, D.C., in June. We will shortly announce details on the FTC's website, and registration for the town meetings will be available at the AIPLA website."