WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 16, 2007) -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today joined more than 100 companies, associations, venture capital firms and universities in sending a letter to key leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to urge a cautious approach to reforming patent law that continues to protect biomedical innovation.
In the letter, the organizations expressed concern that provisions of “The Patent Reform Act of 2007” (H.R. 1908/S. 1145) pose serious threats to medical innovation and American technological leadership. The letter was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“We strongly believe that certain provisions [of the legislation], such as those dealing with apportionment of monetary damages for patent infringement, expansive PTO rule making authority, an open-ended post grant opposition system, and a narrow grace period will not strengthen our patent system but instead will fundamentally undermine patent certainty, discourage investment in innovative technologies, and reduce publication and collaborative activities among academic scientists,” wrote the organizations. “The harm to investment in tomorrow’s technologies would be felt immediately, and would hurt U.S. competitiveness for years to come.”
“Biotechnology innovations provide hope by extending the lives of people around the world suffering from debilitating diseases. Future innovations may lead to improved therapies and perhaps even cures for cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and rare diseases. To fulfill this promise, we must have a patent system that provides certainty for researchers, innovators and investors,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood.
“We welcome efforts by Congress improve the U.S. patent system. We will continue to work with the Committee and the full Congress to ensure that any patent reform legislation truly improves the system and does not undermine a structure that has been the driving force behind lifesaving and life-enhancing biotechnology breakthroughs."
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry.
Upcoming BIO Events
· BIO VentureForum-East 2007
June 18-20, 2007
· BIO Mid-America VentureForum 2007
Sept. 24-26, 2007