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Posted at 2:08 p.m. on July 8, 2014
When Sen. Patrick J. Leahy abruptly shelved legislation targeted at companies that file abusive patent infringement lawsuits back in May, the Vermont Democrat said it was because of a lack of consensus from stakeholders. But in an an interview with a home-state newspaper Leahy said he was “furious” that Majority Leader Harry Reid effectively shelved the bill.
“We worked so hard to get a coalition,” the Burlington Free Press recently quotes Leahy as saying. “Harry Reid and a couple of others said, ‘We won’t let it come to the floor.’ I think that’s wrong, but I’m not going to give up.”
CQ Roll Call’s John Gramlich writes:
Leahy, D-Vt., abruptly dropped the measure (S 1720) from the Judiciary Committee’s agenda in May after months of closed-door negotiations with Republicans. At the time, Leahy said he was dropping the bill because outside stakeholders — including software companies and the pharmaceutical industry — could not agree on key language ahead of a scheduled markup.
In the newspaper interview, however, Leahy said he dropped the bill because Reid, D-Nev., and other Senate leaders told him it would not receive a floor vote if it ever got out of the committee. Leahy said Reid apparently based his decision on a calculation that compromise language in a draft version of the bill would face a filibuster by members of both parties.
A spokesman for Reid did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Gramlich wrote.
In other happenings in “patent troll” legislation, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is set to begin consideration Wednesday of a narrow bill targeting false or misleading demand letters. The panel will take opening statements Wednesday and mark up the bill Thursday.