Stakeholders Urge Caution in Senate Consideration of Patent Reform

Strong IP Protection Critical to Maintain U.S. Role as World Leader in Biopharmaceutical Innovation

04.07.14 | By Stephanie Fischer

ScientistBiopharmaceutical innovation is not a given.  Strong intellectual property protections are necessary to sustain America’s role as the worldwide leader in biopharmaceutical research and are critical to the biopharmaceutical industry’s ability to make the significant, long-term investment necessary to develop new therapies for the patients who need them.

Efforts to Curb Abusive Patent Litigation Must Be Targeted

A few industries have been vocal in decrying the harm of “patent trolls” that don’t use their patents in products for the public to use, but rather to license or as a basis of suing other businesses for patent infringement.

PhRMA is supportive of targeted efforts by Congress to curb abusive patent litigation by so-called patent trolls.  However, we continue to have concerns with a broad, one-size-fits-all approach that would undermine the ability of patent holders to enforce their rights by filing and litigating a patent suit. This could impose substantial burdens on the ability to enforce legitimate patents effectively and efficiently, potentially decreasing the value of patents and weakening incentives for biomedical innovation.

PhRMA Joins Universities and Biotechnology and Medical Device Industries in Expressing Concern with Overly Broad Patent Proposals

Last week, PhRMA joined several other industry organizations and companies, which together represent millions of U.S. workers, in expressing concern with the direction of patent legislation in the Senate:

We are concerned that some of the measures under consideration go far beyond what is necessary or desirable to combat abusive patent litigation, and, in fact, would do serious damage to the patent system. As it stands, many of the provisions assume that every patent holder is a patent troll. Drafting legislation in this way seriously weakens the ability of every patent holder to enforce a patent. This approach clearly favors a business model that does not rely on patents and tilts the balance in favor of patent infringers, thereby discouraging investment in innovation.

The patent system is the bedrock of the U.S. economy. It should not be changed in this manner over the vigorous objection of some of America’s most innovative industries.

Inventors at innovative companies, both large and small, across the country, depend on patents to attract investment, grow their businesses, and develop new therapies and medical devices for patients, biofuels, and other products that benefit consumers. We cannot jeopardize this progress by weakening the country’s patent system. Too much is at stake.



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