Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2011) — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Deputy Vice President Karl Uhlendorf today released the following statement regarding patent reform:
"PhRMA believes that patent reform legislation offers the opportunity to stimulate the economy, encourage innovation, promote patent certainty and provide for a strong Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). We hope that the America Invents Act continues to move through the legislative process with strong momentum so that we see enacted this year a bill that accomplishes the goals of the biopharmaceutical sector and so many other research-based industries.
“For example, we are pleased that the bill passed today by the House of Representatives transitions the U.S. from a first-to-invent to a first-inventor-to-file (FITF) system. This would bring us in line with the patent systems of other developed nations, creating efficiencies for inventors seeking patent protection in the U.S. and other markets. It would also provide a more-objective measure of determining patentability, thereby providing inventors with more certainty and potentially limiting costly and time-consuming litigation over who was the first to invent.
“In addition, we applaud the inclusion of a supplemental examination procedure. We believe that a supplemental examination that encourages patent holders to approach the PTO for confirmatory review of their patents would help provide for quality patents. It would allow affirmation of valid patents, establishing greater certainty for the research-based patent holders who rely on them, while allowing for clarification of potentially questionable patents. This procedure has the potential to greatly limit frivolous litigation, all while spurring the innovation that is stimulated by strong patent protection.
“The time is right for a patent reform bill that modernizes the patent system and, in so doing, provides a needed boost to the economy. We applaud the Members of the House, especially the House Judiciary Committee, who worked hard to pass this bill with bipartisan support and look forward to continue working with lawmakers toward our goal of a patent reform bill that supports research-based patent holders.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.4 billion in 2010 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $67.4 billion in 2010.