Intellectual Property Counsels Committee

BIO Staff Contact: Hans Sauer, Deputy General Counsel, IP
Committee Chair: Kenneth Dow, Johnson & Johnson
Past Chair: Tom Kelley, Monsanto
Existing Subcommittees and Working Groups:
  Amicus Subcommittee - Chair: Brian Barrett, Patent Counsel, Eli Lilly & Company
  PTO Working Group - Co-Chairs: Christine Bellon, Hydra Biosciences; Jason Ferrone, ISIS Pharmaceuticals
  International Intellectual Property Working Group - Chair: Li Westerlund, Bavarian Nordic
To promote strong, predictable intellectual property protection and efficient transfer of IP rights for the biotechnology industry domestically and internationally. 
  • The Intellectual Property Counsels Committee ("IPCC") is responsible for developing domestic and international intellectual property policy that benefits the biotechnology industry. 
  • The committee is responsible for reviewing and commenting on proposed intellectual property legislation.
  • The committee is responsible for reviewing and commenting on IP-related regulations from Federal agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 
  • The committee works with BIO staff to brief Members of Congress and officials of governmental agencies such as the PTO, the U.S. State Department, the Federal Trade Commission, The US Trade Representative, and the NIH on intellectual property matters.
  • The committee actively participates in efforts to influence legislation, treaties, jurisprudence and practice in a manner most beneficial to the continued positive development of the biotechnology industry.
  • The committee will from time to time approve the filing of amicus briefs in cases with impact on the biotechnology industry.
  • Committee members may be asked to help develop IP related position papers, white papers and educational materials.
  • Committee members may be asked to formulate comments and testimony on various IP related guidelines and regulations.
Policy Approval Process
Substantive matters designed to become the official position of BIO are sent as recommendations of the IPCC to the Board of Directors Standing Committee on Intellectual Property for first review.  The Standing Committee on Intellectual Property will discuss and, as appropriate determine changes in the recommendations.  The Standing Committee will then either return the substantive matter to the IPCC for further comment and revision or refer the matter to the full Board of Directors for consideration.
Eligibility for Participation
In order to be eligible for membership, the interested party MUST be a member of BIO. Unless otherwise directed by the chair of the IPCC, committee members MUST represent a member biotechnology company either as in-house patent counsel or outside patent counsel.  While a law degree is not required, many committee activities require detailed knowledge of patent law.
Past Accomplishments
The IPCC has in the past helped develop and successfully pushed for passage of the American Inventor Protection Act of 1999; developed BIO's positions on Patent Reform; and engaged in Patent Reform negotiations on the Hill.  The committee has developed BIO's position and testimony on patenting genetic materials; intellectual property and competition policy; the PTO's utility and written description guidelines; PTO claims and continuation rules, MARKUSH Rules, and IDS rules.  The committee has developed BIO's position on Patent Law Harmonization, intellectual property in global health, and intellectual property and access to genetic resources.
The Committee has:
  • developed Guidelines for Members engaged in Bioprospecting and model material transfer agreement;
  • developed BIO's positions on TRIPS related issues;
  • filed amicus briefs in cases of interest to the biotechnology industry;
  • drafted a framework for educational materials for the federal judiciary;
  • developed BIO's position on Bayh-Dole;
  • developed BIO's position on Patent Reform and the PTO Rules
The committee meets four times a year (usually once a quarter) two of which meetings take place in-person.  There are also opportunities for working groups to meet on an ad hoc basis or to give comments throughout the year on papers, letters, and other correspondence sent out on behalf of BIO's members.
Contact Information
  Hans Sauer, Deputy General Counsel Intellectual Property,
  Caroline Arrington, Manager, Legal and Intellectual Property,
  Roy Zwahlen, Manager, Legal & Policy Specialist,