Incoming Judiciary Chairman Creates IP Panel
By Andrew Ramonas | December 20, 2021 6:05 pm

The House Judiciary Committee will have a new subcommittee when Congress returns in January, incoming Chairman Lamar Smith said Monday.

Lamar Smith (Getty)

The Texas Republican will establish a panel that will focus on intellectual property, antitrust and Internet issues. The panel will replace the courts and competition policy subcommittee, which handles judicial and antitrust matters. The commercial and administrative law subcommittee will take on judicial matters in the next Congress. The jurisdictional lines between the other three House Judiciary subcommittees will remain the same in the next Congress.

“The protection of America’s intellectual property is critical to our economic growth, job creation and ability to compete in the global marketplace,” Smith said in a statement. “A separate IP subcommittee will ensure that the Committee remains focused on all aspects of intellectual property, including patent reform and copyright protections.”

Smith has yet to name a chairman for the new subcommittee or the top Republicans on the four other subcommittees. An announcement on the chairmen is expected in early 2011. Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) is currently the top Republican on the courts and competition subcommittee.

Smith has said patent reform will be among the top priorities of his committee. He said the patent system must be improved to speed up the patent approval process and better combat IP theft.

Attorney General Eric Holder also has made protecting intellectual property rights a key Justice Department priority since taking office in 2009.

Holder in February launched the Task Force on Intellectual Property to improve coordination between the DOJ and law enforcement agencies on IP matters and boost efforts to fight IP crime.

The Attorney General said last week that the task force has been effective. But he called for more collaboration between public and private sector leaders on IP matters.



  1. staff says:

    ‘the patent system must be improved to speed up the patent approval process and better combat IP theft’

    Patent holders would agree. The problem is the present bill accomplishes none of this. They will need to start over.

    Just because they call it patent “reform” doesn’t mean it is. Patent reform is a fraud on America.

    Please see for a different/opposing view on patent reform.

  2. Publius Novus says:

    This is a heartening first move by the chairman-designate. If Smith intends to focus on the nuts-and-bolts of the Judiciary Committee’s subject matter, he will do well. Stay away from stupid subpoenaes and worthless, politically motivated “investigations.” It has been decades since Congress has paid any attention to the grunt issues.

The Senate Democratic leader describes the Republicans' refusal to hold hearings on President Obama's eventual Supreme Court nominee "historically unbelievable and historically unprecedented."

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