Bills in Brief

bridges vol. 31, October 2011 / Bills in Brief: U.S. S&T Policy News

stc_newletter_logo_small.jpgThis bridges Bills in Brief is brought to you, in part, by the Science and Technology in Congress Newsletter, a publication of the AAAS Office of Government Relations, covering the latest science-related news on Capitol Hill


  • Patent Bill Signed into Law
On September 16, President Obama signed into law the America Invents Act (HR 1249). The Act is the first significant reform of the patent process in over 50 years. Significant changes include a switch from a "first-to-invent" to a "first-to-file" system, a new post-patent review and patent challenging process, and clarified patent criteria.
Read the full story here.
  • New Administration Initiatives Accompany Patent Reform Bill
Along with the signing of the America Invents Act last month, President Obama announced several additional initiatives  intended to expedite the movement of ideas "from lab to market." Highlighted in the President's announcement was a new center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) called the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). 
Read the full story here.
  • Congress Buys More Time for FY 2012 Appropriations Process 
After a contentious debate over disaster funding that led to the possibility of a government shutdown, the House and Senate are poised to pass a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded through November 18, buying themselves time until the Thanksgiving recess to complete the FY 2012 appropriations process.
 Read the full story here.

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  • Cloudy With a Chance of Data Gaps
On September 23, the Investigations and Oversight subcommittee and the Energy and Environment subcommittee – both of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology – held a joint hearing on NOAA's Polar Weather Satellite Program. The NASA/NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) provides over 90 percent of all weather data for the US, making it essential for protecting US health and infrastructure.
Read the full story here.

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