White House nixes Patent Office pick after tech-sector outcry

Posted by BernardSwiss on Jul 10, 2014 11:50 PM EDT
Ars Technica; By Joe Mullin
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Two weeks ago, Philip Johnson, the top intellectual property lawyer at Johnson & Johnson, was set to be named the next director of the patent office. Johnson has opposed changes to patent laws for years, and he was the head of the Coalition for 21st Century for Patent Reform, or 21C, an umbrella group opposing broad patent reform.

Johnson's bid looked like a 180-degree turn for the Obama Administration, which had pushed for a comprehensive patent reform bill to be passed. A bill called the Innovation Act was passed by a wide margin in the House of Representatives, but it died in the Senate in April. Large pharmaceutical companies were a key part of the opposition to the patent bill

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