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Senate takes step toward final vote on patent bill
On first day back, Senate takes step toward final vote on bill to modernize patent system
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Senate has opened its fall session with a step toward passing a patent system bill that has been a rare example of bipartisanship in this year's divided Congress.

The 93-5 procedural vote on moving the bill to the Senate floor gives supporters hope that the legislation to modernize the patent system could clear Congress soon.

The Senate is considering a bill that has already passed the House by a wide margin.

The legislation, supported by President Barack Obama and a wide range of business and high tech companies, would ensure that the Patent and Trademark Office has the money it needs to reduce a huge backlog in patent applications and would put the United States on the same filing system used by the rest of the industrialized world.

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