BIO Statement Regarding the Reintroduction of the Innovation Act
Washington, D.C. (February 05, 2015) – The following statement on the re-introduction of the Innovation Act by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) may be attributed to BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood:
“BIO supports targeted reforms to reign in abusive patent enforcement practices, but any efforts to accomplish this must be done in a way that preserves the patent-based incentives necessary to sustain our nation’s global leadership in biotechnology innovation and the creation of high-wage, high-value jobs throughout our country. BIO is concerned that the Innovation Act as re-introduced today fails to meet that test, by undermining the ability of legitimate patent owners to commercialize their inventions and enforce their patent rights against infringers.
“Against the backdrop of unprecedented legislative, judicial, and administrative changes to the patent system during the past two years, BIO’s members, leading universities, and innovators from across the spectrum of the American economy consistently have urged Congress to proceed cautiously with proposals for additional changes that would continue to shift the legal balance against patent owners.
“Strong patents are the lifeblood of the biotechnology industry. They are critical in ensuring a steady stream of capital to biotechnology companies developing innovative medicines, alternative energy sources, and insect and drought resistant crops. And they are essential to the technology transfer process that leads from inventions in the lab to products on the shelves.
“The majority of biotechnology companies are small companies that have no products on the market, and thus their research and development activities are funded through massive amounts of private sector investment over many years, sometimes even decades. Without strong, predictable, and enforceable protections for patented inventions, investors will shy away from investing in biotech innovation, degrading the ability to provide solutions to the most pressing medical, agricultural, industrial, and environmental challenges facing our nation and the world.
“Biotechnology is a field in which the United States remains the undisputed world leader – both in terms of conceptualizing new products and bringing them to market for the benefit of patients and consumers worldwide. Our nation’s capital should be working to preserve and nurture sectors like biotechnology in which America remains head and shoulders above the rest of the world, and where continued advancements hold the greatest societal and economic promise.
“BIO wants, and will continue, to work with Chairman Goodlatte and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and in both the House and the Senate to develop a legislative package that will curb abusive litigation through a balanced approach that does not undermine the ability of patent owners to defend their inventions and businesses against infringement.”