The Senate version of the Patent Reform Act (S1145) was taken off the schedule in April 2008, meaning it will not be considered by the full Senate any time in the near future. Patents expert witness Daryl Martin’s company website Consor writes:
Large IT companies and other technology companies are trying to reign in huge patent settlements ones like the $600 million plus award that NTP won from Research In Motion, the maker of the Blackberry wireless device, is a good example. Another example is the $1.5 billion award that Lucent briefly won from Gateway and Microsoft – currently under review.
While it appears that some of the Senate’s leadership is sympathetic for large technology companies, there is a small group of very high profile inventors and investors like the Segway designers and some of the Apple technology people, as well as venture capitalists, and a growing array of smaller businesses that do not share the market power of these larger companies. In addition, opposed to the patent reform act is the pharmaceutical industry, which has traditionally relied on the protection of a strong patent system.