September 20, 2006

New Coalition is Patently Awesome

Remember how a big patent lawsuit against Research in Motion earlier this year threatened to cut off CrackBerry (left) service?  Today, Joe Crea of Legal Times tells us about DC's new Coalition for Patent Fairness, "a patchwork of 45 companies from the technology, financial services and manufacturing industries."

On the lobbying side, the group is led by Mark Isakowitz of Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock, while Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw partner Andrew Pincus tells Crea that "he's focusing on the substantive arguments for patent reform." Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter is handling PR for the coalition, but I couldn't find a coalition website.

Coalition members include Apple Computer Inc., the Business Software Alliance, Comcast Corp., Dell Inc., the Financial Services Roundtable, Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., TechNet and Time Warner Inc.

Per Crea, the coalition "has spent the better half of 2006 building momentum and educating Congress members about concerns the group has about the current patent system. Isakowitz says in the coming year he expects the Senate to act on patent reform legislation introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee members Orrin Hatch, R-Utah and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt."

The group has its work cut out for it.  It's up against the pharmaceutical industry, led by trade group PhRMA.

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