There has been a lot of talk about the new Patent Reform Act going over, around and through all of the hoops required on its way through Congress. During its winding journey through committees and hearings there have been changes in response to complaints from lobbyist groups and Congressmen and women. We here at Tech LawForum have written extensively on much of the testimony and discussions pertaining to the Act. However, it seems one large group was left on the outside looking in on the Patent Reform party, until now. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO) has recently written a letter to Congress voicing their previously unheard opinions on the legislation. According to their website, the AFL-CIO represents about 10 million union workers across the nation, or roughly 2/3 of all the United States’ unionized workforce. In their letter to Congress, the AFL-CIO, voiced its concern that the proposed bill could cause problems for manufacturing companies that employ many of their constituents. The letter stated that their concerns centered upon the apportionment of damages portion of the bill and the new post-grant review procedure. The letter didn’t specify, but it would seem that as the second window was dropped during the Judiciary Committee review that the latter concern has already been addressed. As for apportionment of damages, the AFL-CIO wants to see courts allowed to retain use of the Georgia Pacific factors in making such determinations. A PDF of the letter may be found here, courtesy of Peter Zura’s 271 Patent Blog.

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