Statement Regarding the Introduction of Senate Patent Reform Legislation
Washington, D.C. (April 29, 2015) – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today issued the following statement regarding the introduction of The Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, along with committee members John Cornyn, Chuck Schumer, Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee, and Amy Klobuchar:
"BIO appreciates the good faith efforts of the co-sponsors of the PATENT Act to address many of the concerns that have been raised with respect to the companion effort of the House Judiciary Committee as reflected in H.R. 9. The PATENT Act is clearly a positive step towards building greater consensus among patent stakeholders on ways to target abusive litigation tactics.
“In particular, the Committee’s revisions with respect to pleading requirements, discovery stays, and mechanisms for fee recovery against shell companies reflect noticeable improvements over H.R. 9. BIO will continue to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Committee and other stakeholders on these and other provisions to further improve this bill as it moves forward in the legislative process.
“We note with disappointment that the bill introduced today does not contain any of the critically needed reforms to prevent the continued exploitation and abuse of the PTO’s inter partes review (IPR) proceeding against patent owners. However, we appreciate the acknowledgment by Chairman Grassley and other co-sponsors of the need to include such reforms as the bill proceeds through the Committee’s process, and BIO pledges to work with these leaders to include such important provisions. But any patent bill reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee that does not meaningfully reform the IPR system would lack a sense of balance and thus would be opposed by BIO.
“We look forward to working with Members of the Senate to secure further needed improvements to the PATENT Act that will support the ability of biotechnology companies to rely on their patents to raise and invest the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to develop and bring to market the next generation of innovations in healthcare, agriculture and energy.”