Early tomorrow evening, all eyes in the patent community will be on the United States Senate when they will proceed to a cloture vote on the Motion to Proceed to H.R. 1249 (Patent Reform Bill).

Cloture? I guess this Poli-Sci major was absent the day my professor discussed Senate procedure. So, what does cloture mean? According to The US Senate’s Reference Desk, Cloture means ‘the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours of debate’ thus avoiding a filibuster. If the cloture vote passes, no other matters may be considered until the question upon which cloture was invoked is disposed of.

Could we have an answer to the patent question of the year, will the US implement the most sweeping patent reform in decades? Will we have to navigate the first-to-file waters with an underfunded US Patent Office? We shall find out soon.