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June 19, 2011

House Schedule - H.R. 1249: America Invents Act

H.R. 1249: America Invents Act
To amend title 35, United States Code, to provide for patent reform.

Since fiscal year 2004, the Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill has included the Weldon amendment that ensures the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) does not issues patents that are directed to or encompassing a human organism. This effectively bans human cloning by removing any profit motivation.

Now, H.R. 1249 is set to remove USPTO funding from the annual appropriations process and instead funds it and the issuance of patents through user fees. Since USPTO would no longer be funded through the appropriations process, no policy restrictions in any appropriations bill would apply to USPTO, including the Weldon amendment.

Thus, the current ban on human cloning would disappear.

The House floor manager's amendment to H.R. 1249 is expected to include language to permanently codify the Weldon Amendment into law to preserve the ban on human cloning.

Related Senate action on patent reform

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