The 2-year life cycle of the congressional term is somewhat predictable. During the first year, few laws are enacted since much of Congress' focus is in the background work of lawmaking. During the second year of the cycle, however, the process acclerates as Congress and its committees bring their proposals out of the background by moving bills to the House and Senate floors. Patent reform has had the longest life cycle. The roots of patent reform legislation can be traced back to at least 2001. The need for patent reform grew out of the acceleration of patents issued beginning in the 1990s. By contrast, the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act, which would strengthen enforcement of and penalties for copyright infringement, was introduced last October.
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