Press Release

Statement on Patent Legislation Pending in the US Senate

PhRMA May 21, 2014

Washington, D.C. (May 21, 2014) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Executive Vice President and General Counsel Mit Spears issued the following statement on the patent legislation pending in the U.S. Senate:

"PhRMA appreciates the efforts of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to achieve consensus on patent legislation and for recognizing that an overly broad bill could harm innovative companies and universities that depend on strong intellectual property protection.

“We continue to support targeted efforts to curb abusive patent litigation rather than a broad, one-size-fits-all approach which 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 encourages the Committee to ensure that any legislation it considers would not create burdensome pleading requirements, impose undue restrictions on discovery prior to a claim construction ruling, create discriminatory standards for the award of attorney fees, or otherwise advance policies that restrict the rights of patent holders and chill innovation.  We look forward to working with Chairman Leahy and the Committee on a narrowly-focused approach to address so-called patent trolls.

“Strong intellectual property protections are necessary to sustain America’s role as the worldwide leader in biopharmaceutical research and are critical to the industry’s ability to make the significant, long-term investment necessary to develop new therapies for the patients who need them.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology 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 $550 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $51.1 billion in 2013 alone.

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