Press Release

PhRMA Statement on House Patent Bill

PhRMA May 17, 2010

Washington, D.C. (May 17, 2010) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Ken Johnson today issued the following statement regarding a proposal to allow the Patent and Trademark Office to collect fees on patent applications:

“Rep. Conyers’s proposal to grant the Patent and Trademark Office the authority to set fees on patent applications, while well-intentioned, would act as an additional tax on businesses as well as on the innovation that patents are intended to protect.

“Because the bill does not include a guarantee that the fees would be used to directly support patent application review, this bill would not solve the problems associated with the PTO’s current lack of sufficient funding, which has led to a backlog in patent applications.

“While it is imperative that the PTO have the resources it needs to protect and encourage innovation throughout America, Rep. Conyers’s bill does not represent the best way to accomplish this. Rather, PhRMA continues to support the Senate’s recent patent reform agreement, which is intended to strengthen the patent system by addressing myriad issues, and which is supported by stakeholders from across American business sectors.”

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 $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.

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