Microsoft Comments on the Patent Reform Act of 2009

WASHINGTON — April 2, 2009 — Today the Senate Judiciary Committee ended its markup on the Patent Reform Act of 2009. The legislation will now be taken up by the full Senate. Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Microsoft Corp., stated the following:

We are very grateful to Chairman Leahy, Senators Feinstein, Specter and Hatch and the members of the Committee for their tireless efforts and continued commitment to enacting meaningful patent reform legislation. Their focus on modernizing the patent system, promoting innovation and fueling American competitiveness has taken this legislation in a very positive direction. In particular, we appreciate the determination shown by the sponsors to push this legislation forward and commend the open process in the Committee, which allowed all stakeholders, from every sector, the opportunity to express their views fully.

As is necessary in any successful legislative initiative, the amended version of the bill reported by the Judiciary Committee reflects a compromise among the varying views of the members of the Committee, and among the very different perspectives expressed by stakeholders during the legislative process. The outcome is an encouraging example of Committee leaders and members working together in a non-partisan, collaborative manner to advance thoughtful and meaningful improvements to our nation’s patent laws.

While this legislation may not address all the wishes of all the parties involved, including those of Microsoft, it is thanks to the leadership of Chairman Leahy and members of his committee that the bill, as reported, reflects real progress and makes a positive step toward a consensus solution that does not favor any particular industry to the detriment of others. Together with administrative and judicial reform efforts, this legislation — if enacted — will help modernize the patent system in important respects and represents a significant step forward in efforts to bring balance and predictability to the outcomes in patent litigation cases. Microsoft is pleased to support the Committee’s efforts and looks forward to further progress in this important matter.

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