PhRMA Response to Introduction of Senate Patent Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 29, 2015) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Robert Zirkelbach issued the following statement:
“The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) appreciates the efforts of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in introducing legislation today to address abusive patent litigation. While the Senate legislation is an improvement over the House version, there continue to be issues of concern that intellectual property holders have raised, and we look forward to working with Senators to address those concerns.
“In addition, the legislation as introduced unfortunately contains no provisions to address significant shortcomings in the implementation of the post-grant proceedings at the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), which have directly led to abusive practices. We appreciate the commitment the Senators have made to address this critical issue in the pending legislation and look forward to working with them to improve this process. The pro-challenger bias exhibited through these proceedings has come to be known as a “death squad” for legitimate patents and patent holders. Ultimately, PhRMA would have to oppose patent legislation that does not include changes to more fairly balance post-grant proceedings at the PTO.
“PhRMA supports targeted efforts to curb abusive patent litigation. At the same time, any effort to address this problem must not undermine the ability of legitimate patent holders to enforce their rights. The ability to protect and enforce patent rights is absolutely essential to sustaining investments in research and development, supporting millions of domestic jobs created by our industry and providing patients with access to innovative new therapies.
“We will be carefully reviewing the draft legislation, and will provide additional feedback to members of the Judiciary Committee in the coming days.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $51.2 billion in 2014 alone.
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